Letter from Leonard Dorsey to MLK



Leonard Dorsey requests Dr. King begin teaching the subject of Divine Retribution.

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Letter from Leonard Dorsey to MLK
Saturday, February 17, 1968
Transcripts & Translations


Page 1 [Stamp in Blue Ink: Received MAR[ch] 11 1968] 587 Coates Street Coatesville, Pa [Pennsylvania] February 17, 1968 Dr. [Doctor] Martin Luther King, Jr [Junior] Office of Southern Christian Council Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dear Sir: Here is an idea that I hope you can use in your Civil Rights drive. I call it DR- [Underlined: Devine Retribution]. Although our people attend church (or have attended) schools, etc. they [Underlined: fail] to include Devine Retribution in their philosophy. This failure - acts as a [Underlined: drag] on our progress. Under your leadership the clergy newspapers, magazines could put on a drive- perhaps a year in duration the[n] [Underlined: add] the idea of Devine Retribution to the [Underlined: inadequate] philosophy of our population. [Underlined: Week after week] you may have to hammer away to put Page 2 idea of D[evine] R[etribution] into thinking. Many [Inserted Above Text: Second Sentence First Paragraph: I will repay] cases can be told of persons and their families suffering misfortune because of the mean and dirty thinks they have done to others. God has said "[Underlined: Vengence [vengeance] is mine, I will repay."] Examples: a brutal policeman (who had broken a man's leg unnecessarily)- years later cried. His grandson in whom he pinned his hopes on turned juvinile [juvenile] delinquent. [Underlined: What is down the road for you?] [Inserted Above Text: Third Paragraph First Sentence: God Repays:] Tradegy [Tragedy] visits a [Underlined: murderer]. He had been in a gang that helped to kill a man. One day years later his daughter fell down the stairs and broke her neck. The[n] the mother discovered that the baby drowned in some water when the husband very reluctantly confessed what he had done- she left him. Page 3 A brute and murderer on his death beed [bed] was driving men from his bed- his soul was being tortured before he opened his eyes in hell. Dr [Doctor] King, I hope that under your capable leadership with help of the clergy etc that the idea of D[evine] R[etribution] can be instilled in the minds of all throughout this country, thus much misery and hardship can be avoided. Yours truly, [Closing Signature: Leonard E. Dorsey] I wish you success with your march. I hope many banners in your march. [Crossed Out: being] D[evine] R[etribution] I will repay As you sow you reap Whats down the road for you?
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