This year, the main theme of the University’s Martin Luther King Day celebration is “Why We Can’t Wait,” taken from the title of King’s third book whose message, according to Kevin McDonald, UVA’s vice president for diversity equity, inclusion, and community, “rings just as true today as it did in 1964. As we enter another year of a pandemic that continues to profoundly impact the world and exacerbate the stark disparities in our society, it’s important to remember that we can’t sit idly by. In fact, there’s no better time than the present to be actively engaged in transformational efforts.”
Please attend one of the events scheduled in January:
- Keynote by Yamiche Alcindor, “Black History and the Legacy of MLK: Purpose, Truth and Justice”
- Breaking Silences: Lessons from Tulsa and Charlottesville
- Why We Can’t Wait … Justice, Data & Activism: A conversation between Nikuyah Walker and Renee Cummings
- Inside Sines v. Kessler: A Case Holding White Supremacists Accountable
- 2022 UVA Health Disparities Conference: Why We Can’t Wait, Healthcare Justice for All
- Community Read and Panel Discussion of “Why We Can’t Wait” (1964) by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
FREE copies of “Why We Can’t Wait” — King’s best-selling account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham during the spring and summer of 1963 — are available from the following locations, while supplies last:
- Jefferson Madison Regional Library (Central, Northside, and Gordon branches).
- New Dominion Bookshop.
- Yancey Community Center.
- Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.
Several hard copies of this title are available by request from Clemons Library through Virgo, the Library’s catalog. UVA Library also has an ebook version that UVA students, faculty, and staff can read online at their convenience.
“Why We Can’t Wait” recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States. Against the background of the campaign of nonviolent direct action, King examines the history of the civil rights struggle and the tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality. The book includes the extraordinary “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which King wrote in April of 1963.
Please check the full calendar of in-person and virtual events honoring the slain civil rights leader.