“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
Eastern State Penitentiary is my favorite tourist destination in Philadelphia. I got a membership because I take all of my out-of-town visitors there. Last semester, I took my students to ESP on a field trip. The header photo for my website is a picture I took at ESP. I have admired their recent efforts to highlight contemporary prison issues in their presentation of the past through the Searchlight series. I am elated and honored to be a part of their celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. King on Monday, January 21st. Join me and actor Len Webb for a reading and discussion of Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
WHYY’s coverage of the MLK events at ESP: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/arts-and-culture-everything/item/49680-to-honor-mlk-letter-from-a-birmingham-jail-will-resound-from-eastern-state-penitentiary
From the ESP website:
We celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, and the 50th anniversary of his 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail, with special readings offered several times throughout the weekend.
Why did the civil rights leaders of the 1960s choose jail time to demonstrate their plight? How did Dr. King’s letter—written in the margins of a newspaper and smuggled out of Birmingham Jail—create a pivotal moment in the American civil rights movement?
Readings of the Letter:
Professional actors read Dr. King’s letter, followed by an informal Q&A on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 11:30 and 2:30[and 3:45] each day. Free to the public. Tickets available online or at the door, subject to availability.