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Activist Bayard Rustin prepared these remarks for the Negro Leadership Conference in New York in January 1965. He discusses the influence of the American right, the traditional Communist left and the unaffiliated left (the Thirties veterans and the spontaneous left of Harlem and Mississippi).
Mr. Moore, of the Atlanta law firm Hollowell, Ward, Moore & Alexander, congratulates Dr. King on receiving of the Nobel Peace Prize. He goes on to encourage Dr. King and the SCLC to "establish a full fledge non-sectarian four year college and graduate school."
James Meredith writes from Nigeria to congratulate Dr. King on receiving the Noble Peace Prize and emphasizes that the struggle for human rights is a world-wide struggle. Meredith, the first African-American student to attend the University of Mississippi, was at that time a post-graduate researcher in Nigeria.
Nina C. Brown writes Dr. King expressing appreciation on behalf of Pennsylvania State University for his visit to the institution. Additionally, she wishes Dr. King much success in his continued efforts to achieve civil rights.
Members of the American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa express their disapproval of South Africa's rule over South West Africa and ask for U.S. intervention.
Randolph T. Blackwell responds to the gentlemen of Greene, Ayers, Swiger & Cluster concerning a previous issue.
Dr. King thanks Vice President Richard Nixon for an earlier meeting. He supports the limited Civil Rights Bill (the Civil Rights Act of 1957) finally passed by the Senate and hopes the President will not veto it. He believes that a sustained mass movement is needed for the bill to be effective and is calling for a “Crusade for Citizenship” in the South to get at least 2 million Negroes registered to vote for the 1960 elections. King lauds the Vice President for his vigorous efforts in support of the Civil Rights Bill.
Dr. King reviews the settlement made between the City of Birmingham and civil rights protesters. This agreement includes the integration of lunch counters, sitting rooms, restrooms, and water fountains within ninety days.
Pearce Godfrey forwards to Dr. King several letters that he has written concerning his views on United States involvement in Vietnam, the usage of "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, and John F. Kennedy's statement before the United Nations that "life is unfair."
Young Toni Harris, a student in NYC, wrote this letter to Mrs. King sharing her hope that Dr. King's killer would be caught. This letter is an example of the many levels of support shown towards the King family, from schoolchildren who loved Dr. King.
Educational Consultant Dorothy Cotton writes workshop attendee Mrs. E.A. Johnson concerning the importance of citizenship education, particularly in getting Negroes to vote. She addresses a concern of Mrs. Johnson's involving a young man invited to attend a citizenship workshop. Ms. Cotton informs Mrs. Johnson that Dr. King will speak with Attorney General Robert Kennedy in addressing the young man's situation.
This document drafts a set of intentions aimed at improving communities in America and uplifting individuals out of poverty. Proposed fundamental goals of achieving this include, a secure and adequate income, a proportionate share of decision making power, and access to the full range of human services.
Bill Johnson writes Dr. King with an interest in starting a chapter of the SCLC in Oak Ridge. Johnson also invites Dr. King to visit Oak Ridge and speak with members of its community.
The Southern Democratic Conference writes about new laws sponsored by the Jefferson County Legislative Delegation. Under the new legislation, the writer(s) feel as though the laws were "designed to dilute the citizen strength of the Negro and to deprive the black minority of opportunities hitherto available to the white group."
Dr. King outlines on scraps of paper his great sermon based on Mark 10:37. Everyone wants to be first, to get attention, he says, starting with our first cry as a baby. Adults want to do good and be praised. If the drum major instinct is not harnessed, the personality is distorted and we become boastful, gossip, put others down. On a societal level, this leads to exclusive social groups, racial prejudice and war. King states that Jesus’ answer is to dedicate this great force to worthy ends – goodness, moral excellence, generosity, kindness and service. .
Administrative Secretary for the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, Rachelle Horowitz apologizes to Dora McDonald for an apparent misunderstanding regarding pamphlet pricing.
E. B. Hathaway responds to a letter from Dr. King and Rev. Bennette concerning employment opportunities at the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company's new manufacturing plant in Albany, Georgia. Hathaway explains the company's projected construction timeline and ensures Dr. King and Rev. Bennette that hiring practices will be non-discriminatory.
Fred Roesti writes Dr. King to arrange a meeting between him and five pre-theological students, to get his perspective on "the contemporary social situation and the 'relevance' of the church."
Dennis Crawford, Executive Secretary of the YMCA-YWCA, invites Dr. King to the first Northwest Collegiate Civil Rights Conference. In addition, Crawford makes mention of their contributions to the movement in the form of students, money, books and community leadership.