As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. prepared for the Birmingham campaign in early 1963, he drafted the final sermons for Strength to Love, a volume of his best known homilies.
King had begun working on the sermons during a fortnight in jail in July 1962. Having been arrested for holding a prayer vigil outside Albany City Hall, King and Ralph Abernathy shared a jail cell for fifteen days that was, according to King, 'dirty, filthy, and ill-equipped' and 'the worst I have ever seen' and 'the worst I have ever seen'. While behind bars, he spent uninterrupted time preparing the drafts for classic sermons such as:
Loving Your Enemies
Love in Action
And he continued working on the volume after his release.
This book, A Gift of Love includes three classic sermons, along with two new preachings. Collectively they present King's fusion of Christian teachings and social consciousness, and promote his prescient vision of love as a social and political force for change.