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Birmingham letter inspires anniversary readings

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the, "Letter from Birmingham Jail," while incarcerated for violating Alabama's law against mass public demonstrations.

On Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., The Mahoning County Courthouse Rotunda will host an honorary reading of the letter that is open to the public.

This reading is part of a worldwide celebration organized by the Birmingham Public Library. The letter is to be read throughout the state of Alabama, as well as in China, Thailand, Somalia, South Africa, Israel, Antartica and Germany.

Readers at the Mahoning County Courthouse celebration include: 

- Shirlene Hill - Jamael Johnson's mother, Union Baptist Church

- Shameka Walker - Sojourn to the Past, Youngstown Early College

- Norma Coe Anderson - Youngstown Peace Council

- Sennille McRay - Sojourn to the Past, Youngstown Early College

- Annie Gilliam - Youngstown City Council

- Sean Barron - Sojourn to the Past

- Jalada Aslam - AFSCME Ohio Council 8, AFL-CIO

- Bonnie Burdman - Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, MLK Planning Committee

- Brianna Edwards - Austintown Fitch High School

- Daria Jacobs-Velde - Ohev Tzedek Congregation

- Lucille Moreland Smith - Sojourn the Past, Richard Brown United Methodist Church

- Debbie Liptak - Youngstown Public Library

- Rev. William Blake - YSU, MLK Planning Committee

- Debbie Mathews - League of Women Voters

- Sarah Brown Clark - Youngstown Clerk of Courts

- Rev. Nick Mager - First Presbyterian Church, MLK PLanning Committee

- Shawanda Jones - Sojourn to the Past, Youngstown Early College

- Karen O'Malia - First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown

- Rev. Ken Simon - New Bethel Church, MLK Planning Committee, IMA, BPC

- Pastor Greg Calko - Richard Brown Memorial United Methodist Church

- Janae Ward - Sojourn to the Past, YSU student

- Father Ed Noga - St. Patrick Catholic Church

- John Allen - Youngstown City Schools

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