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Theodore Brown, Executive Director of the American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa, writes Dr. King to invite him to a meeting with members of the British Parliament to discuss the developing racial crisis in their country. This letter includes Dora McDonald's holograph shorthand in red ink.
George W. Lawrence elaborates on the traditions and methodologies of the Catholic Church. Lawrence clarifies the Social Doctrines and states that men are governed by four laws located in "the Natural," "the Eternal," "the Human," and the "(positive) Divine laws." Furthermore, Lawrence discourses additional political relations to the Catholic Church.
Helen Meun writes to members of the SCLC and explains that those involved in the Arlington demonstration were unaware to its purpose. Furthermore, she suggests that the children who were harmed during this demonstration be given an explanation.
Mary Heathcote of MacMillan Publishing Company asks Dr. King and the SCLC to help promote a book being written by Henrietta Buckmaster. Buckmaster, whom Dr. King quoted in "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community," chronicles the events of Reconstruction.
The various protest mechanisms and action organizations serves as a long lasting contribution to the Negro community initiated by the movement in the South. The church has served as a location for organization which progresses community participation. During slavery, the slaves were allowed to congregate only at weddings and funerals. Many of these events were fabricated in order to create a means of collective communication between the slaves. The author asserts that it was in this tradition that the SCLC was formed.
Dr. King extends gratitude to John Lewis, Chairman of SNCC, for his encouraging letter upon the announcement of Dr. King being chosen to receive the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King states he does not accept this award as a tribute to himself, but as a tribute to the entire Civil Rights Movement. Lewis was regarded as a key SNCC leader and became the US Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district in 1987.
Cornell E. Talley, Pastor of New Light Baptist Church, tells Dr. King that his church is withdrawing their pledge of $100 per month to the SCLC. Talley felt as if Dr. King was no longer fighting for civil rights, and that his leadership of anti-war demonstrations was counterproductive.
This SCLC release hails the election of America's first two black mayors, Carl Stokes in Cleveland, Ohio and Richard Hatcher in Gary, Indiana. The release stresses that such men "cannot do the job alone" and condemns efforts in Congress to cut the War on Poverty even as billions are spent on the Vietnam War.
Dora McDonald informs Florence Wright that Dr. King is currently in jail in Albany, Georgia. Dora McDonald reassures Miss Wright that her encouraging words will mean a great deal to Dr. King.
Don Pratt expresses concerns about his induction into the US Army during the Vietnam War. Mr. Pratt questions the morality of this "aggressive" war, which would enable him to inflict violence against his "neighbors" of Vietnam.
The United States Civil Service Commission informs Mrs. Helyn M. Brooks of her prospects for consideration for appointment in a civil service position.Mrs. Brooks' prospects section estimate is listed as poor.
Myles Horton, the co-founder of the Highlander Research and Education Center, explains that he has been working on a program for the Appalachian area. He also mentions that the Center sponsors voter registration, political education programs and a series of workshops to help Negro candidates run for local and state offices.
Ragnar Forbech, Chairman of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), responds to a previous letter from Dr. King. Dr. King declined the invitation to speak at the IFOR Conference due to of his busy schedule, but Forbech notes from their earlier correspondence that Dr. King will keep his organization in mind for the future. Forbech also congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.
Johan Keijser, writing for the Board of the Foundation of Stichting Werkgroep Wereldunie, sends a letter to Dr. King. It includes a list of names of those whom the group has invited to form a committee of support for their efforts in creating a "provisional world government." The list includes artists, intellectuals, national government leaders, and religious leaders from all over the world. Remarkably, it also includes "father of the hydrogen bomb" Edward Teller.
President Lyndon B. Johnson writes to Dr. King sympathizing with his concern over the incidents that occurred in Philadelphia, Mississippi. King was continuing the March Against Fear of James Meredith, who was shot by a sniper on June 6. A rally in Philadelphia commemorating the murder two years earlier of three civil rights activists was angrily attacked by a white mob. Homes of blacks were later sprayed with gunfire.
Anne Farnsworth acknowledges the kind letters Dr. King sends thanking her for the past financial contributions she has made to the movement. She further encloses a check in honor of the four little girls killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham and the assassination of President Kennedy.
In this letter Julius H. Avery writes MLK to urge him to reconsider his position on the Vietnam war. Avery expresses his support for world peace but stresses that Dr. King's remarks are volatile and do not warrant "opening the flood gates to Communism."
Ernest O. Norquist, Director of the Commission on Religion and Race of the Illinois Synod of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., commends Dr. King for his recent speech at Illinois Wesleyan University. He alerts Dr. King of the Birch Society’s attempts to spread allegations of his communist’s affiliations, and recommends a booklet refuting the charges and offers to help prepare and print it. Norquist requests a meeting with Dr. King in Chicago for himself, and other executive members of the Illinois Council of Churches to discuss how they can support Dr. King’s work.
This photo comes from the Benedict J. Fernandez "Countdown to Eternity" portfolio.
(Copyright: Benedict J. Fernandez)