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"Mastering Ourselves" is Dr. King's exploration of the inner struggle for good and evil that occurs within every human's experience. Dr. King asserts that this "dualism" can sometimes cause good people to do bad things and bad people to do good things. According to Dr. King, this can only be overcome through identifying and replacing one's own weaknesses. He also suggests finding a profitable way to use leisure time coupled with a devotional life and continuous prayer.
In the aftermath of Dr. King's arrest in Birmingham, Constance Beitzell expresses her dissatisfaction with federal officials not putting an end to the intimidation against Negroes in Birmingham. Beitzell is perplexed at the fact that the United States promotes freedom but does not allow freedom for many of its citizens who happen to be Negro. According to Beitzell, "What man in a Christian nation can trample on the rights of a citizen because of his race?"
Reverend John Huston of the East View United Church of Christ writes to Dr. King to express his appreciation for Operation Breadbasket. Huston calls this the most effective civil rights initiative he's ever had the pleasure of working on. He brings up three points that he would like to discuss with Dr. King, including how to better advocate for the Negroes' federally guaranteed rights.
Clarence Jones responds to Alexander's letter requesting action steps to create an interfaith chapel and memorial library in honor of Dr. King. Jones agrees with the great loss and likewise pledges to continue the work.
These minutes of the "Insurgent Newspaper Editor's Conference" record the events of the conference from start to finish. The minutes also describe prominent topics of the conference, including the difficulties publishing an insurgent newspaper on a tight budget, reaching a large audience, and generating powerful content. The minutes end on a positive note: "a good time was had by all."
Eugene Exman expresses his delight that Dr. King will be completing the manuscript for a book of sermons. Exman also asks Dr. King to meet with him in August, if Dr. King plans to travel to Martha's Vineyard. The book of sermons mentioned in this letter eventually would be entitled "Strength to Love."
Stephen Sargent, a young student, writes to Rev. Ralph Abernathy on the day of Dr. King's funeral service. Stephen's letter mentions his enclosure of a check to the SCLC to assist in the cause for freedom.
This letter from Dora McDonald to Thomas W. Johnson is in response to a request for Dr. King to write an article for the December 12, 1966 edition of The Forum. Dora McDonald informs Thomas W. Johnson that Dr. King regrets his inability to accept the invitation at this time.
In this letter Mr. Farrar writes, "Dr. King symbolized for me the celebrant of the century in terms of newness of life in Jesus Christ." With a deep sense of gratitude he reveals the indelible affect Dr. King had on his life and his ministry, as a white middle class male.
This newsletter shares details regarding the end of a historic meeting of American minority group leaders who declared unanimous support for the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, D.C. The names of organizations and leaders pledging their support are also included.
Juanita McKinly requests Dr. King visit her home to evaluate the less than standard living conditions of the building. As a key figure for addressing social ills, many people sought the help of Dr. King in relation to individual concerns.
On his way to turn themselves in to Birmingham jail again in 1967, Dr. King writes this article in longhand, asserting the purposes of the civil rights activists' civil disobedience. Their unjust incarceration, he states, will allow them to bear witness to an unjust justice system, from Bull Connor's dogs to the US Supreme Court. The Court had just issued a decision supporting Connor's injunction forbidding the protests of the Birmingham campaign, which had led to his first incarceration there in 1963.