Readings of the Letter and Family Activities: Free
Tours of Eastern State Penitentiary: Standard Admission
Eastern State Penitentiary commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail" with special readings from the landmark text and opportunities for visitors to respond to its relevance today.
Why did the civil rights leaders of the 1960s choose jail time to demonstrate their plight? How did Dr. King’s letter, written in the margins of a newspaper and smuggled out of Birmingham Jail, create a pivotal moment in the American civil rights movement? If Dr. King were alive today, what issues would his letter address?
Readings of the Letter:
Professional actors read excerpts from King’s letter three times a day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday:
- 11:30 a.m.
- 1:30 p.m.
- 3:30 p.m.
An informal Q&A moderated by a civil rights scholar follows each reading, giving visitors an opportunity to respond to the letter’s relevance today.* The readings are FREE** and open to the public. Free tickets are required and available online (must be claimed 30 minutes prior to start of reading) or at the door, subject to availability.
In partnership with Art Sanctuary, children ages 7-12 and their families can create art in response to themes found in the letter, and read stories about Dr. King’s life and legacy. Family activities are available from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, free and open to the public. No reservations required.
* This event is not wheelchair accessible.
** A $1 processing fee will be applied to tickets purchased online in advance.