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In this February 1962 column for the New York Amsterdam News, Dr. King acknowledges President Kennedy's appointment of Negroes and executive order ending employment discrimination. But he calls the President “cautious and defensive” in providing strong leadership in civil rights and criticizes him for not ordering an end to discrimination in federally-assisted housing.
The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights adopted this statement by Roy Wilkins, Chairman, for the opening of the 1967 Congressional session. Their agenda includes full compliance with all existing civil rights legislation, equality and justice in the courts, greater protection for those who exercise their civil rights, and an end to housing discrimination. Wilkins states that economic and social conditions must be created so that civil rights guaranteed by law can be realized.
Esther Jackson of the New York Shakespeare Festival sends Dr. King a "discussion letter" to raise the issue of desegregating the arts. Nationwide, new arts programs will emerge and existing organizations funded as part of "Great Society" programs. Jackson calls for an effort to prevent discrimination in such programs now rather than attempting to dislodge discrimination after it becomes further entrenched. She outlines the beginning of a response to the issue.
Dr. King thanks Kendall Bryant and the fourth grade class of the Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia for their letter and contribution following the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. Dr. King also mentions the need for all races and ethnicities to work together to achieve the "Brotherhood of Man."
Congressman Robert T. Stafford, U. S. Representative from Vermont, informs Dr. King he has signed the discharge petition regarding the District of Columbia Home Rule Bill.
Dr. King writes Reverend Carlson to thank him for his recent telegram of encouragement and support. Dr. King states, "You may be confident that such reassurance provides us with an additional source of strength." Dr. King also discusses the philosophy of the SCLC.
Benjamin E. Mays offers celebratory wishes to Dr. King on the sixth anniversary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conferece. Mays offers words of support and encouragement for the great work Dr. King has done in the fight for equality and justice.
Dr. King makes reference to the Biblical governor Zerubbabel. The specific passage to which Dr. King refers reads, "On that day, says the Lord of Hosts, I will take you Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, my servant, and wear you like a signet ring; for it is you whom I have chosen. This is the word of the Lord of Hosts" (Hag. 2:23).
Jimmie Johnson writes to Dr. King to say that while he is a Negro, he does not believe in integration. Johnson does not think there will ever be enough jobs in America for Negroes, and therefore argues for segregation. He asks Dr. King to share this view in his upcoming meeting with President Johnson.
Canon L. John Collins, a founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, invites Dr. King to speak at a rally in Trafalgar Square in London, England. The proposed rally will be based on the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and Collins would like to provide a direct link between the rally and the Washington March through the participation of both Bayard Rustin and Dr. King.
Francis H. Stern, Chairman of the Humanitarian Award Committee, writes Dr. King informing him that he has been selected unanimously to receive the 1964 Brith Sholom Humanitarian Award. Stern points out that past recipients include Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Rabbi Stephen Wise, UN secretary general Trygvie Lie, and former Prime Minister of Australia Herbert Evatt.
Raphael Gould, of The Fellowship of Reconciliation, writes to Miss McDonald requesting a letter from Dr. King nominating Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Gould calls attention to the approaching deadline and the extensive documentation that must accompany the letter.
Dorris Roberts, Chairman of the New Breed Committee, writes to Dr. King concerning inaccurate statements regarding her organization's participation in a recent march. Mrs. Roberts encloses a newspaper article regarding the march and also requests that Dr. King release a statement declaring that the New Breed Committee were supporters of the march and not protestors.
The Penn Unitarian Fellowship of the University of Pennsylvania extends an invitation to Dr. King to meet with the student body for an informal discussion. The university desires Dr. King to converse with several race relation classes for a more realistic perspective from an active leader in the movement. Due to the growing population of the African American community in Philadelphia, it is the university's hope that Dr. King will address social issues specifically in Philadelphia.
Mary L. Jones sent out this letter reporting on the plight of her husband, Reverend Ashton Jones, who was arrested in July of 1963 for attempting to lead an interracial student group into a service at the segregated First Baptist Church of Atlanta. Reverend Jones was sentenced to a year in the Georgia state prison and six months of hard labor for the crime of "disturbing a worship service." Mrs. Jones encourages readers of her letter to heed the advice of British social critic Bertrand Russell, by writing an "avalanche of letters" to those responsible.