January 17, 2010 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography

On this day, we honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King. Jr.

Letter From Birmingham Jail
April 16, 1963

Ernst Haas: Martin Luther King, Birmingham Jail, 1963

"While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work.

...But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid."

Charles Moore: Martin Luther King, Jr. Arrested on a Loitering Charge, Montgomery, September 3, 1958

Steve Schapiro: Martin Luther King, Selma, Alabama, 1965

Stve Schapiro: Martin Luther King, Alabama, 1965

Steve Schapiro: Martin Luther King, Alabama, 1965

Steve Schapiro: On the Road, the Selma March, 1965

Tags: Bill Eppridge Civil Rights photographs Martin Luther King Jr. MLK