Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Mrs. Sherrill informs Dr. King of a young man, Mr. Jerry Peace, from her church, St. Mark's, who shows great promise as a poet. She encourages Dr. King to reach out to Mr. Peace to help direct his "rather anger energy" into a new direction.
Dr. King shares his disappointment with the Senate vote that stopped the 1962 Voting Rights Bill, then known as the Literacy Bill. The bill would have eliminated the literacy tests that Dr. King believed were used to keep African-Americans of all education levels from qualifying to vote.
The senders of this letter request a meeting with Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen to discuss inadequate housing, overcrowded schools, under-employment and "minimal enforcement of the city's building code." The senders represent a variety of organizations and offer their expertise in developing solutions to the problems facing Atlanta.
This is Dr. King?s eulogy for three of the four young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. God gives man the right to exercise good and evil, King says, but God wills that everything will happen for the good ? that out of tragedy comes redemption. Martyred in the struggle for freedom, the girls have become symbols of the crusade and of the faith that sustains it. King speaks of forgiving those who murdered the girls and the need to transform the system, the way of life, and the philosophy that led to the bombing.
In this draft of a chapter for his book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, Dr. King offers an in-depth description of the plight of African Americans over the past few hundred years and how it will never be fully understood by their white counterparts. He recounts the issues associated with American slavery – the dehumanization of slaves and the destruction of the family unit. He ties what happened in the past to what is occurring in the present, explaining that because of these layers of oppression African Americans have to play catch up to be seen as equals in America.
Helen Sobell, wife of Morton Sobell and co-chair of the committee trying to free him, requests that Dr. King write a letter supporting the approval of his parole. She includes an attachment explaining the parole process and contact information for the US Board of Parole.
Ambassador Bonhomme announces the Pan American Festival of the New World, proposed and implemented by Negro-American Concert Pianist Robert Pritchard. The festival's inauguration was held in Haiti in the summer of 1969. The event attracted students in the "Pan American hemisphere." The festival's main features focused on the establishment of three summer schools.
Erma Jewell Hughes writes Dr. King to congratulate him on the Nobel Peace Prize award and cover on Time Magazine as "Man of the Year." Hughes invites the Reverend to speak at the Business College's annual commencement and encloses traveling expenses for the event. Hughes also states that they are raising additional funds to go towards the "Freedom Fight."
Tacoma, Washington native Harold Bass sends a contribution to aid in the work of the Civil Rights Movement. Bass, pastor of his own independent church, also forwards Dr. King a copy of their newsletter that promotes peace efforts all over the country.
As a result of a police raid on the offices of the SCEF and its officers, two of their top officers were arrested and their records and papers were seized. The White Citizens Council praised the Louisiana Joint Legislative Committee on Un-American Activities for instigating the raids, while numerous other committees strongly denounced the raids.
In a full page of letters to the editor, civil rights advocates praise the Newsweek cover issue on the Negro in America for its analysis of the racial crisis and editorial recommendations for an emergency national program of action.
Dora McDonald responds to the President of Bryn Mawr College expressing that Dr. King has committed to being the key note speaker for the upcoming graduation. Following the letter is the official commencement invitation.
Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Burke Marshall informs Dr. King that the Department of Justice is investigating the assault upon Reverend Paul Chapman.