4/4 – Today is the 50th anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King.


Do something in his memory.

(from the Atlantic) “Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested 30 times. In 1963, His most famous arrest,  11 days for demonstrating in violation of a court injunction in Birminham, Alabama, resulted in the creation of his famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”

A. G. Gaston, a black millionaire businessman posted the $5,000 bail for King and his colleague Ralph Abernathy. King is said to have wanted to continue his political statement by remaining confined. But Gaston, fearing that the civil-rights movement would suffer if left without King’s leadership for too long, persuaded him to accept the assistance.

Having people get arrested and sent to jail was a foundational strategy of the civil-rights movement, meant to illuminate the injustice and immorality of racial inequality. Since 1963, however, the number of people sitting in jail has skyrocketed. Of the approximately 630,000 people held in more than 3,000 local jails across the United States, 70 percent are awaiting trial and therefore are legally innocent, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. The Vera Institute of Justice reports that black Americans are jailed at nearly four times the rate of white Americans.

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