YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — On Monday, Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past held a reading of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

The event honored the 60th anniversary of his writing the letter, which he wrote in a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama.

Police had arrested him saying he was demonstrating without a permit. Community leaders then asked him to stop holding marches against segregation because of the fear of violence. Dr. King responded, writing that the Black community can’t wait.

The last time the group held a reading was in 2013 for the letter’s 50th anniversary. First News spoke with Penny Wells, the group’s executive director. She says reading the letter is just as valid today as it was in 1963.

“We talk about voter suppression and we talk about convict leasing. We talk about what’s happening today. We talk about why neighborhoods were segregated legislatively by the federal government,” Wells said. “I think it’s just as important to read this letter tomorrow as it was for people to read it 50, 60 years ago.”

The event was held at the Mahoning County Courthouse.