This weekend, we honor the life, leadership, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. LDF was privileged to represent Dr. King on numerous occasions:
In 1965 during the Selma marches when LDF litigated to lift an injunction placed on demonstrators fighting for their right to vote — read LDF’s historical legal documents that set the march from Selma in motion and profiles of LDF lawyers involved;
In 1966 during King’s efforts to organize the Chicago Freedom Movement, a major fair housing campaign focused on finding agreement between the Chicago Housing Authority and the real estate and banking industries; and
In 1968 during the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike which urged better safety conditions and higher wages for African-American employees and later that same year during the Poor People’s campaign which emphasized the fundamental need to end poverty.
As we continue the fight for equality and civil rights, there is no better time to revisit Dr. King’s powerful and empowering 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail. It was written during the height of the Birmingham campaign, where Dr. King was once again represented by LDF lawyers – these lawyers smuggled the letter out of Birmingham City Jail and back to movement headquarters.
Above: LDF’s second Director-Counsel Jack Greenberg with a group of civil rights leaders including Dr. King.
Above: Dr. King, Roy Wilkins, and LDF’s Founder and first Director-Counsel Thurgood Marshall.
Above: Proposed plan for Selma to Montgomery March filed by LDF in federal court.
Finally, as we celebrate Dr. King’s 88th birthday and learn from his resolve, watch LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill moderate a pivotal discussion between two of the leading voices on the history and legal struggle for civil rights and racial justice. Pulitzer-prize winning authors and historians Taylor Branch (best known for his landmark trilogy on the civil rights era titled “America and the King Years”) and Isabel Wilkerson (author of the New York Times bestseller “The Warmth of Other Suns”) spoke with Sherrilyn at the University of Maryland’s College of Art and Humanities as part of their Pulitzer 100 series on December 8, 2016.
View the full video here.