From The Living Church-
It was Good Friday, April 12, 1963, that an open letter, “A Call for Unity,” written by seven white Christian and Jewish leaders in Alabama, appeared in The Birmingham News. It was during the days of the Civil Rights Movement, and these seven men shared the view that the demonstrations occurring in Birmingham were creating unnecessary havoc and discord. They hoped that their letter would dissuade Birmingham’s African-American community from going forward with an illegal march on Birmingham’s City Hall, planned for the same day as the letter’s publishing, in protest of the city’s segregation laws. The clergymen also hoped that the letter would move city officials to work toward racial progress through peaceful negotiations and nonviolent resolutions. But despite their hopes, the march went on, with arrests and media attention coming along with it.
On Easter Sunday, April 14, Southern Christian Leadership Conference Executive Director Wyatt Walker went to the Birmingham Jail to give a copy of the white ministers’ letter to an “outsider” arrested two days earlier. His name — Martin Luther King, Jr.
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