Monday, April 08, 2013

BPL@Night Presents Author Talk on "Letter from Birmingham Jail" Book, Gospel of Freedom, April 9

C-SPAN will visit the downtown Birmingham Public Library on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. to record an author talk and book signing. The talk will be broadcast at a later date on the television program Book TV.

At the program, to be held in the Arrington Auditorium of the Linn-Henley Research Library, Barnard College and Columbia University professor Jonathan Rieder and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Diane McWhorter will discuss Rieder’s new book Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation. Called “A sparkling reconsideration” by Booklist, Gospel of Freedom delves deeply into Martin Luther King’s Letter, examining its timeless message and its crucial position in the history of civil rights. Rieder, who interviewed King’s surviving colleagues and located rare audiotapes of King speaking in the mass meetings of 1963, finds in King not a hopeful “dreamer” but an angry prophet who chastised American whites, found solace in the faith and resilience of the slaves, and knew that moral appeal without struggle never brings justice.

Praise for Gospel of Freedom:

“‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ has been long overshadowed by Martin Luther King's ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. Now Jonathan Rieder has written a vital book that gives the Birmingham letter its due as a piece of sacred literature in the long war against Jim Crow. A compelling book.”
Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House and Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

“For those of us who fought the fight for freedom in Birmingham, Jonathan Rieder’s Gospel of Freedom brings alive the extraordinary events of 1963 with insight and eloquence. Rieder beautifully captures the spirit of fierce but loving defiance that was key not just to Martin’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ but all our efforts to transform America into a vital democracy.”
—Ambassador Andrew Young

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

For more information contact Jim Baggett at 205-226-3631 or

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