News

April 16, 2013

What It Was Like to Be Jailed With MLK

(The Root) -- The Rev. Jonathan McPherson went to jail for the first time in his life on Friday, April 12, 1963. It was Good Friday in Birmingham, Ala. Blacks on that day were defying an injunction outlawing protests, and under the leadership of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, they continued mounting a fierce but nonviolent challenge to segregation. For McPherson, King, Shuttlesworth and others, that challenge led to a police-wagon ride and lockup in cold cells with concrete floors. 

McPherson was about 29 at the time and on the faculty at historically black Miles College. McPherson's father bailed him out the next day. King was locked up longer, in isolation, and there he wrote his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," responding to white clergy who had questioned the need for and method of protest in Birmingham.

The letter was first made public on April 16, 1963. Exactly 50 years later, on April 16, 2013, McPherson joins several others in a progressive reading of that letter at Miles College.

Read the Full Story Here: The Root