Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Friday, April 5, 2013
Angela Fisher Hall                                             
Associate Director                                              
Birmingham Public Library                                
Phone: (205) 226-3614                                         
McWhorter and Rieder Discuss Gospel of Freedom at Library
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation
Birmingham, Alabama—When former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young was asked to give his review of a new book by Jonathan Rieder, he spoke on behalf of all involved in the City’s movement. He stated, “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.”
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.
On Tuesday, April 9, Barnard College and Columbia University professor Jonathan Rieder and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Diane McWhorter will discuss Rieder’s book.  The free program is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. and takes place at the Birmingham Public Library’s Central (Downtown) Library in the Richard Arrington, Jr. Auditorium.  Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.  This program will be videotaped by C-SPAN for future broadcast on Book TV.
The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment.  This system—with eighteen locations and serving the community for 126 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.  For additional information, visit the website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  

MEDIA:  Media coverage of this program is welcomed.  To arrange interviews with the authors, please contact Angela Fisher Hall at (205) 226-3614. 
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