I just read in Princeton Journeys (supplement to the September issue) about Princetonians visiting the Civil Rights Institute in my hometown of Birmingham.

They may not have seen the names of the eight clergy addressed in Martin Luther King’s fabulous Letter from a Birmingham Jail. The first of those eight names, my father, was Episcopal Bishop Charles C.J. Carpenter, Princeton Class of 1921. He was well known as the Eastern Intercollegiate Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. Many of the Civil Rights integrated meetings were held in his office because Andy Young told King and Fred Shuttlesworth that they would be welcome and safe there.

My father did not disagree with King’s letter saying that the local clergy were too slow in promoting integration, but he had been one of those who brought about the election in Birmingham to remove Bull Conner and he had been one of the clergy who had written an article in the Birmingham News urging local citizens to comply with school integration. To give a fuller picture of who Chuck Carpenter was, I wrote his full biography, A Powerful Blessing, 331 pages. I self-published it, and copies are available from me, carpenter.doug7436@att.net [7], for $20 which includes postage.