Classic texts: No. 17 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham City Jail (1963)

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Abstract

2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham City Jail’. Written during the height of the struggle for African-American civil rights in the United States, the document (an essay written in the form of an open letter) represents a powerful philosophical and theological treatise about social justice and the nature of social and political change. The letter addresses a number of important themes that remain relevant today for community and political activists concerned with social justice. The article briefly highlights three key issues and their significance in terms of a political understanding of social and political change. First, the nature of a so-called civil society; second, the role of the ‘outsider’ as political agitator; and third, the significance and necessity of tension in promoting social justice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity Development Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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social justice
political change
social change
civil rights
African American
anniversary
civil society
community
city

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@article{bddc0787fb3e4f83bb759cbafef03af0,
title = "Classic texts: No. 17 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from Birmingham City Jail (1963)",
abstract = "2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham City Jail’. Written during the height of the struggle for African-American civil rights in the United States, the document (an essay written in the form of an open letter) represents a powerful philosophical and theological treatise about social justice and the nature of social and political change. The letter addresses a number of important themes that remain relevant today for community and political activists concerned with social justice. The article briefly highlights three key issues and their significance in terms of a political understanding of social and political change. First, the nature of a so-called civil society; second, the role of the ‘outsider’ as political agitator; and third, the significance and necessity of tension in promoting social justice.",
author = "Paul Bunyan",
note = "Alexander, J. C. (2006) The Civil Sphere, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Bunyan, P. (2013) Re-conceptualizing civil society: towards a radical understanding, International Journal ofVoluntary and Non-profit Organizations, accesssed at: http://link. springer.com/article/10.1007/s11266-013-9352-y (12 February 2013). Chambers, E. (2003) Roots for Radicals, The Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd, New York, NY. Cohen, J. L. (1999) American civil society talk, in R. Fullinwider, ed., Civil Society, Democracy and Civic Renewal, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, MD/Boulder, CO/New York, NY/Oxford. Evers, A. (2010) Observations on incivility: blind spots in third sector research and policy, Voluntary Sector Review, 1, 113–117. King, M. L., Jr (1963) Letter from Birmingham City Jail, in J. M.Washington, ed. (1986), ATestament of Hope: The EssentialWritings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., Harper Collins, San Francisco, CA.",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1093/cdj/bst034",
language = "English",
journal = "Community Development Journal",
issn = "0010-3802",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",

}

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AU - Bunyan, Paul

N1 - Alexander, J. C. (2006) The Civil Sphere, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Bunyan, P. (2013) Re-conceptualizing civil society: towards a radical understanding, International Journal ofVoluntary and Non-profit Organizations, accesssed at: http://link. springer.com/article/10.1007/s11266-013-9352-y (12 February 2013). Chambers, E. (2003) Roots for Radicals, The Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd, New York, NY. Cohen, J. L. (1999) American civil society talk, in R. Fullinwider, ed., Civil Society, Democracy and Civic Renewal, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, MD/Boulder, CO/New York, NY/Oxford. Evers, A. (2010) Observations on incivility: blind spots in third sector research and policy, Voluntary Sector Review, 1, 113–117. King, M. L., Jr (1963) Letter from Birmingham City Jail, in J. M.Washington, ed. (1986), ATestament of Hope: The EssentialWritings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., Harper Collins, San Francisco, CA.

PY - 2013

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N2 - 2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham City Jail’. Written during the height of the struggle for African-American civil rights in the United States, the document (an essay written in the form of an open letter) represents a powerful philosophical and theological treatise about social justice and the nature of social and political change. The letter addresses a number of important themes that remain relevant today for community and political activists concerned with social justice. The article briefly highlights three key issues and their significance in terms of a political understanding of social and political change. First, the nature of a so-called civil society; second, the role of the ‘outsider’ as political agitator; and third, the significance and necessity of tension in promoting social justice.

AB - 2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham City Jail’. Written during the height of the struggle for African-American civil rights in the United States, the document (an essay written in the form of an open letter) represents a powerful philosophical and theological treatise about social justice and the nature of social and political change. The letter addresses a number of important themes that remain relevant today for community and political activists concerned with social justice. The article briefly highlights three key issues and their significance in terms of a political understanding of social and political change. First, the nature of a so-called civil society; second, the role of the ‘outsider’ as political agitator; and third, the significance and necessity of tension in promoting social justice.

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