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Powell, William J.

b. 1908 - d. 1982

William J. Powell was pastor of Old Ship A.M.E. Zion Church in Montgomery, Alabama from 1953 to 1964. He served as recording secretary for the executive board of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), the organization formed to carry out the Montgomery bus boycott. Powell was one of nearly 100 boycott leaders indicted by the city on conspiracy charges. His name appears as MIA secretary under Dr. King’s name on the Integrated Bus Suggestions flier distributed when segregation on buses was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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MLK Flyer: "Integrated Bus Suggestions"

In this document, Dr. King and the Reverend W.J. Powell list under "The Montgomery Improvement Association" guidelines to mitigate potential conflicts in the transition to integrated buses. The principle of nonviolence is present throughout the document.