These are some photos I took when I was down in Atlanta last May.
The home at 501 Auburn Ave. where King was born and spent his early life:
The old Ebenezer Baptist Church:
MLK became deacon in 1960, following in the footsteps of his father. It was the headquarters for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. MLK's mother, Alberta Williams King, played the organ, and in 1974 was shot dead while sitting at this organ.
The new, currently active Ebenezer Baptist Church is across the street. The historic church is currently closed for repairs and restoration.
MLK is so often de-radicalized in the remembrance. We should not forget that the same people who fought tooth and nail against the revolutionary ideas he espoused continue to do so, and that many of the power structures he sought to dismantle are still very much in place. This April 4, we will mark 40 years since King's death. How have we fared in his absence? How much of his legacy have we brought to fruition over the past four decades?
Just imagine the howls of outrage and dismissive sneers "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" would elicit from the establishment press corps and punditry if it were written today:
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's anti religious laws.
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.