DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Seeing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in handcuffs and being hauled off to jail was nothing new for Willie Pearl Mackey King.
But during his arrest on April 16, 1963 in Birmingham, Mackey King would lend a hand in one of the most pivotal moments in the civil rights movement.
“I had never seen him write a letter that long before,” said Mackey King.
What was different this time was what MLK wrote while behind bars. “He started out, ‘My dear fellow clergy men.’ That’s what disturbed him most of all,” said Mackey King.
Spanning 15 pages long once compiled, the letter was originally written on bath tissue, a greasy bag and shreds of paper no bigger than half of one inch.
“There was no order when I got it because the lawyers had to slip it out. He couldn’t keep it in order because the jailers would not allow him to write,” said Mackey King.
Her role was to put the puzzle together.
MLK called out fellow religious leaders who criticized his strategy of non-violent sit-ins and marches.
His thoughts that day would become widely published in what is now know as, “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”
“Who knew this letter going to have the affect that it has?” questioned Mackey King. “None of us.”
The story is now being made into a play called, The 67th Book of the Bible. It debuted on Monday at the Dallas Institute.
Mackey King’s preached a message of peace and love to those attended the play on Monday. “If one person would turn to non-violence as a result of reading something from Dr. King, seeing something from the play, I’d be happy,” said Mackey King.
The world premiere of The 67th Book of the Bible was Monday. The creators are working on more shows in the future.
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