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Address Delivered at Albany Movement Mass Meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church

Author: 
King, Martin Luther, Jr.
Location: 
Albany, Ga.
Genre: 
Speech
Topic: 
Albany Movement
Brown v. Board of Education

Details

Less than an hour after negotiations between the Albany Movement and the Albany City Commission collapsed, King vows before a large audience at Shiloh Baptist Church to renew demonstrations in Albany.1 King says: “The City Commission of Albany has again revealed to you, to the state of Georgia, to the United States, and to the world that it holds the Negro citizens of this community in utter contempt.” He criticizes the commission for living in “1962 industrially” but in “1862 in human relations,” insisting that if Albany is to grow as a community, it “cannot keep a man down in the valley without staying down there with him.” Reminding the audience of the virtues of their grievances, King declares that “what we are doing is vindicated by history” and calls on white men and women to break their silence, for “we will have to repent in this generation not merely from the loud and bitter words of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” In conclusion, King beseeches the audience to remain nonviolent and committed to the goal of creating a “moral balance” between whites and African Americans: “Our aim is not merely to get rid of a system called segregation, but our aim is to do something to people who have lived in the midst of segregation. Our aim is to make new creatures: better white men and better Negro men, better white women and better Negro women.” The following address was taken from an audio recording.

I noticed when I came in that they had listed on the program that I would make an address, the main address for the evening. Now, I want to relieve you a bit, and I want to relieve myself a bit, by saying to you that I don’t plan to make an address of any length. I think you will all agree that it is mighty hot [Audience:] (Yes, Yes it is, Sure enough), and although many people don’t believe it, but I am a Baptist preacher. (Yes, Amen, All right) And of course, I can get fired up just like Baptist preachers generally get fired up. [laughter] But in all seriousness, I want to say just a few brief words to you tonight, and then we will move on.

The City Commission of Albany has again revealed to you, to the state of Georgia, to the United States, and to the world that it holds the Negro citizens of this community in utter contempt. (That’s right, That’s right) The City Commission has revealed that it does not intend to negotiate in good faith, and when you won’t talk to people, you don’t even negotiate in bad faith. [laughter] (That’s right, You know that’s right) This is tragic for this city. This is tragic for the state of Georgia, and one day in the not too distant future (Yes sir, Amen), the City Commissioners will have to realize that this is 1962 (That’s right) and not (Amen) 1855 (Yes, 1855, That’s right, Sure enough), and you cannot hold on to ox cart methods in a jet age. (That’s right) [applause]

And Albany is in a terrible dilemma—not its Negro citizens, because the Negro citizens of this community are standing on and living with what is right. (Amen, Amen) And there is no losing where we’re concerned. What we’re doing (That’s true) is vindicated by history (Amen, That’s right), is sanctioned by all of the eternities, and it is a part of the edicts of God himself (Yes, That’s right) so that all of the stars in their courses are working with us. We aren’t in the dilemma. (Go ahead, Amen, Go ahead)

But, but the city, under the leadership of the City Commission, is in a terrible dilemma. I’ll tell you why. They want to live in 1962 (That’s right) industrially, but they want to live in 1862 in human relations, and [applause] they just aren’t going to work together. [applause] They are going around begging for industry (That’s right) all over the South. Let nobody fool you, these industries are not coming into these communities that will stand up and defy the very law of the land and hold Negro citizens in utter contempt. For when you have in Russia astronauts and cosmonauts dashing through outer space in eighty-eight minutes per orbit, and we are still down here in Albany, Georgia, can’t even go in the library to read a book [applause], how in the world can we compete? [sustained applause] We’ve got to say to them that the two aren’t going to work together. If you plan to grow and develop as a community, if you plan to grow economically and otherwise, you are going to have to do something about this race problem, for it is a fact of life that you cannot keep a man down in the valley without staying down there with him (That’s right) in order [applause] to hold him there. [applause]

Now, this is the first thing that I would like to get over to you this evening. The second thing is this. The City Commission is composed, I believe, of seven people.2 The population of this city, I believe, is about fifty-eight thousand. Some 60 percent of these people are white, and I want to raise a question tonight. Where are the other white people of Albany? (Yes sir) What are they saying about the absolute refusal of the City Commission to negotiate? (Well) Tonight I want to call on white people of goodwill (Yes) to rise up, gird their courage, and move on out and make it clear (That’s right) that they will not sit idly by the wayside on their stools of silence while this community sinks more and more into moral degeneracy. The political structure of any community is only one side of the power structure. (Yes sir) There’s always a economic power structure, and let nobody fool you, the boys in the political power structure will always listen to the boys in the economic power structure. (That’s right) These are the people who run the politics of a city and a state. (That’s right) [applause] I want to know, where are the leading businessmen in the white community of Albany (That’s right) in this situation? [applause] I want to hear from them. [applause] We need to hear from them now.

And I want to ask about another group because I’m intimately associated with it. (Talk about it, Come on, Preach) I want to know where the Christian people, who go to church every Sunday morning, stand. (Amen, Well, Amen) I want to hear from them (Yes, Amen), for you see, it may well be that we will have to repent in this generation (Yes sir) not merely from the loud and bitter words of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. (That’s right, Yes sir)

This disturbs me (Yes), and I believe it disturbs you. (Yes) It disturbs me to see ministers of the gospel (All right), laymen, trying to go to worship in churches in Albany, and they can’t worship. (Amen, Yes sir) A Methodist minister, Reverend Ralph Roy from New York City, went to his own denomination with a Negro. (That’s right) And do you know they turned him back?3 (Yes, Yes, Yes they did, Yes) Oh, how tragic this is. (It’s tragic, Yes, Well, Right) Eleven o’clock on Sunday morning, when we stand to sing “In Christ There Is No East or West,” is the most segregated hour in America, and the Sunday school is the most segregated school of the (That’s right) week.4 (That’s right, That’s right) How tragic this is.

To use Dr. Anderson terms, Dr. Anderson’s terms that he would use as a doctor, too often in the church and particularly the white church, we have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds. (Yeah) It’s time now (Amen) that we begin to shake the lethargy from our souls. (All right, Yes sir, Amen) We are going to be children of the almighty God. If our white brothers are going to be Christians (That’s right), they must go on back to the Old Testament (That’s right), hear Amos crying out, “Let justice roll down (Yes) like water (That’s right, Go ahead) [applause], and righteousness like a mighty stream.”5 [applause] They must go on over and turn till they get to Micah (Yes sir), hear him as he cries out in words that echo across the centuries (Yes, That’s right, Go on ahead): “What doth the Lord require of thee (Yes, Yes), but to do justly, to love mercy (Yes), and to walk humbly with thy God.”6 (Yes, Well, Go ahead, Go ahead) Go with me, if you will, on over to the New Testament. (Yes) Stand with Paul as he stands on Mars Hill and cries out, “Out of one blood God made all men [applause] to dwell upon the face of the earth.”7 (Yes, Amen, Go ahead, That’s right) [applause] Then stand with me. Watch our Lord and master as he moves (Yes) around the Galilean hills. (All right, Yes sir) Hear him as he said, “Blessed are the pure in heart (Go on, Yeah, That’s right, Oh yeah), for they shall see God. (Yeah, That’s right) Blessed are the meek, for they (Yes) shall inherit the earth. (Yes, Yes, Well) Do unto others as you would have them (That’s right) do unto you.”8 (Okay, Yes, That’s true) Our white brothers in Albany need to hear these words. (That’s true, Yes, That’s right) That’s the second point I want to bring out.

The third point I want to bring out is something that I’ve been wanting to say to you, because something can be said to you so long that you come to believe it. I reread a book a few weeks ago written by a man named Adolph Hitler—you’ve heard of him. (Yes, Yes) It’s a book called Mein Kampf; he says in that book, among other things, that if you are going to tell a lie—and he implies that to be a good dictator you have to do it—he says tell a big lie.9 (Yes, All right) And if you tell it long and loud enough, everybody will soon believe it, even yourself. (That’s right) [laughter] So now, we’ve been hearing a lot of things, and I’m afraid that we’re going to come to believe these things if we don’t straighten them out. (That’s right)

Now, they say we are lawbreakers, and they aren’t going to negotiate with law­breakers. (That’s right) You’ve read that, haven’t you?10 (Yes) Now, I want to say to you tonight that the 1,100-odd persons who have been arrested in this struggle are not lawbreakers. (That’s right) We don’t even have to go to the point of explaining a doctrine that is very dear to me, and I believe sincerely that there are times when it is necessary to break laws. This is nothing new in history to break laws (No), but we don’t even have to go that far.

There’s nothing new about breaking laws. Academic freedom wouldn’t be a reality today if Socrates hadn’t broke a law—hadn’t broken a law. (That’s right, Go ahead) Go back and read Plato and look at his dialogues, the Apology and the Crito, and all through it you see (Go ahead) Socrates making it clear (Yes) that he’s got to drink the hemlock (Yes) because he’s practiced civil (Go ahead) disobedience.11 (Go ahead) That’s nothing new. (Yes) The early Christians mastered lawbreaking to the point that they were thrown to the lions (Yeah) in the midst of the lion’s den. (Yeah) If you don’t want to go that far, go back to the Old Testament. (Go ahead, Yeah) Look at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (That’s right) standing before King Nebuchadnezzar saying, “We cannot bow.”12 (That’s right) This is nothing new about lawbreaking. (No, Go ahead) Let us never forget that everything that Hitler did in Germany was legal. It was illegal to aid and comfort a Jew in the days of Hitler’s Germany. If I had lived in Germany and had my attitude, the attitude that I have now, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though the law said it was wrong. And even this nation came into being with a massive act of lawbreaking, for what implied more civil disobedience than the Boston Tea Party? (That’s right) [applause] There’s nothing new about lawbreaking. [applause]

But we don’t even have to go that far. (Go on back) We don’t even have to go that far. In 1954 the Supreme Court of our nation said in a decision, called the Brown decision, that segregation is unconstitutional. Now, let me put it in legal terms just like they said. They said that separate facilities are inherently unequal and that to segregate a child on the basis of his race is to deny that child equal protection of the law. (That’s right, That’s right) This is what it said. (That’s right) It said that the old Plessy doctrine of 1896 must go.13 This is what it said. Now, the Supreme Court is the final law of the land. The Supreme Court is the final judicial body of this land, and it rendered the decision. We didn’t render it; the Supreme Court rendered the decision. (That’s right) Not only that, we have a Constitution, and it has a First Amendment, and it talks about freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech. And this is what makes America great, ’cause in its best moments, it realized that there are some things so basic that they should never be taken from anybody.

This is the great weakness of Communism, isn’t it? (Well, Yes sir) It takes these basic freedoms from men. But when our forefathers founded this nation, they said, “All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator.” (That’s right) In other words, they said that there are some basic rights that we all have (Yes), and in order to discover where they came from, it is necessary to go back behind the dim mist of eternity; they are God given. (Yes indeed) This stands at the basis of our nation. And yet they tell us that when we engage in peaceful protest, something guaranteed by the First Amendment, that we are lawbreakers.

Now I want to put it the other way around. (That’s right) The City Commissioners of Albany are the real lawbreakers. [sustained applause] Let me tell you (That’s right) the difference between what we are doing and what they are doing. Even if we were lawbreakers, we break the law openly; we don’t seek to evade the law. (That’s right, That’s right, That’s right) We haven’t organized anything to defy the law. We believe too much in the sacredness of the law to defy it. (That’s right, Yes, That’s right) We do not seek to circumvent; we do not engage in violence and hatred as we do what we do. (That’s right, That’s right) And then when we go on and do all of this, we willingly accept the penalty. (That’s right) But what do they do? (That’s right) They seek to evade the law. (That’s right, Yeah, That’s right) They seek to defy the law with sophisticated methods and big words such as “interposition” and “nullification.” This is what they seek to do. (That’s right) They do it with hate, they do it with violence. (Yes, Yes, That’s right) This is what they do. (That’s true) And I would like to say to them this evening (That’s right, Go ahead), “My white brothers, if you believe segregation is right (That’s right), if you believe that it is eternally decreed from God himself, why don’t you be Christians and go on and break the law openly, which is the law of the land?” (Yeah, Yes) Then after you break the law of the land and they tell you that you have a one-year sentence, sit up in jail, and I will believe that you are sincere. (Yes) But when you defy and evade the law, you make for nothing but anarchy, and you will destroy the very foundation of this country. (Yes)

And so God hath brought us here for this hour (Go ahead) to tell us to save America, because our white brothers (Yes) is carrying it more and more (Go ahead) to destruction (Yes) and damnation. (That’s right, Yes) [applause] We are called to do it, and so that means we can’t stop. (That’s right) I’m going to sound like a Baptist preacher in a few (Go ahead, Go ahead) minutes. (Preach, Start it out) [applause] That means we can’t stop. This should make us more determined than ever before.

Now, they always tell us to cool off (Yes), and I know that when you get people cooling off too much, they will end up in a deep freeze. (Yes) They tell us to slow up (Yes, Slow up), and some of them even say that the Negroes in Albany ought to go home and be quiet because there’s a political campaign going on (Yes, Go on), and you may help elect some particular candidate that shouldn’t be in office. (That’s right) Well, I don’t know if you have an answer for them, and I don’t know if I have an absolute answer, but I want to say to those who are telling us to stop merely because a political campaign is going on that this is a moral issue for us. (Yes, Yes) We are moving on toward freedom’s land. (That’s right, Yes) We cannot stop our legitimate aspirations for freedom merely because some immoral person will use this for his own political aggrandizement. (That’s right, True)

Then, go back and tell them that, in the final analysis, it doesn’t matter who’s elected governor of Georgia; our movement is going on.14 (That’s right) [applause] You may also say this to them (That’s right): We live with 244 years of slavery. (Yes sir, All right) We’ve lived with almost a hundred years of segregation. (Right here, Right here) Right here in the state of Georgia, we live with two Talmadges. (So true, That’s it) Over in Mississippi, we live with Bilbo. (Yes, Yes) In Alabama, we live with Patterson.15 (So true, Preach) We worked in this very nation two centuries without wages. We made cotton king. (Yes) We built our homes and the homes of our masters in the midst of injustice (Amen) and exploitation; yet out of a bottomless vitality, we continued to grow and to live. (Amen, Amen) And if the inexpressible cruelties of slavery couldn’t stop us, the opposition that we now face cannot stop us—and even Marvin Griffin can’t stop [applause] us. We’re going on. (Go on) [sustained applause]

This is all we are asking for. (Go ahead) We are just saying we want to be free. (That’s right, That’s all, That’s all) They call us dangerous rabble-rousers, but deep down within, we know that we are not rabble-rousers. (That’s right) We just want to be free. (Yes, That’s right) They tell us that we are agitators in the negative sense (That’s right), but deep down within, we know that if we are agitators, it is creative agitation. (We know it, That’s right) We just want to be free. (For sure, That’s right)

We can say, “America, we haven’t deserted you.” (That’s true) We’ve stood with you in all of your major difficulties. (That’s right) Communism has never invaded our ranks, America. We haven’t turned to some foreign ideology to solve our problems. (No sir) We, too, disagree with the philosophy of Communism, for we believe it is based on principles that we could never accept. But, America, we do want to be free. (Yes, That’s right, Yes) Whenever you have been threatened from without, and even within, America, we’ve been with you. For your security, America, our sons sailed the bloody seas of two world wars. (That’s right, Amen) For your security (Amen), our sons died on the trenches, in the trenches of France (That’s true), in the foxholes of Germany, on the beachheads of Italy, and on the islands of Japan. And now, America, we are saying we want to be free. (Yes, That’s right) We know that without freedom, we can’t be (Amen) our true selves. (Amen) We can’t be truly men, for, to paraphrase the words of Shakespeare’s Othello, “Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ’twas mine, ’tis his, has been the slave of thousands. But he who filches from me my freedom robs me of that which not enriches him but makes me poor indeed.”16 We want to be free, America (Yes). [applause] And we are determined to be free. [applause]

I must say, finally, the thing I always have to close with: We don’t have to hate to be free. (That’s right, No, No) We don’t have to throw bottles to be free. (That’s right, All right, That’s true) And if there is any one thing—you may forget everything that I said tonight, but I can think of nothing that would injure our cause more than to resort to violence at any point in our struggle. We must make our white brothers know, even though they will refuse to understand it, that we are not trying to defeat them or to humiliate them but to win their friendship and understanding. We’ve been on the bottom. We’ve been on the bottom right in this nation for almost 344 years (That’s right, Go ahead), and it would be almost human to want to retaliate and rise up to the top. But I believe we’ve made it clear that our aim is not to rise from the bottom to the top. Our aim is to create a moral balance.

We are not attempting to rise from a position of disadvantage to one of advantage, thus subverting justice. We just want to be a brother. (That’s true) We just want to have the basic necessities of life. We just want the opportunity to grow and develop as individuals like anybody else. (That’s true) This is all that we want. (That’s right) We must get it over to our white brothers over and over again that we are forced because of problems of semantics, we are forced because of words that we must use, to talk about segregation and integration. And our aim is not merely to get rid of a system called segregation but our aim is to do something to people who have lived in the midst of segregation. (Yes) Our aim is to make new creatures: better white men and better Negro men (Yes), better white women (Yes) and better Negro women. (Yes) This is our aim. (Amen) If we can get this over, we can just get on out and pick up the ammunition of love (True, Yes sir) and just surround ourselves with kindness and prayer and put on the whole armor of God (Yes, Amen) and just march. (Yes, Go on)

And if we will do this, we’ll be able to do this job in Albany (Yes) and all over the United States of America. And we have already a noble example through our Lord and Savior, for he lived amidst the intricate and fascinating military machinery of the Roman Empire. And he could’ve very easily talked about violence as a way, but he didn’t do that. (No) He decided that he would follow the way of love; He went on to a cross and died (Yes, Yes, Yes), but when you have love in your hearts, a cross can’t stop you. (Well) Pretty soon this same Christ rose up and split history into A.D. and B.C. Men and women all over ran out and started shaking the hinges from the gates of the Roman Empire. Not long after that, it started growing. It started off with just a few men, and now it’s gone to more than seven hundred thousand. We can hear the glad echo of heaven saying, “Jesus shall reign where ’er the sun doth his successive journeys run; his kingdom spread from shore to shore, till moons shall wan and wax no more.”17 (Amen) We can hear another chorus saying, “In Christ there is no East or West (Amen), in him no North or South, but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide world.”18 (Amen, Yes) And then another group cries out from afar, “Jesus (Jesus, Jesus, Jesus), the king of the universe.” (Yes, That’s right, Yes) Another group cries out, “All hail the power of Jesus’ name. (Amen) Let angels prostrate fall (Yes); bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of Lords.”19 (Go ahead) And then another chorus cries out, “He’s Lord of Lords, King of Kings (Yeah), he shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah, hallelujah.”20 (Amen)

If he had hated, he couldn’t have done this. (That’s right) If he had used violence, he couldn’t have done this. (No, Amen, That’s right) And so I’m saying, here in Albany, let us love. (Yeah) Let us use nonviolence (Yes, That’s right, Preach), and we can do this job (Yes), and nothing will stop us. And to use the quote that they’ve used all kind of, kinds of ways, “If we will use nonviolence (That’s right), we will be able to turn the upside-down structure of Albany right side up.” (Right side up) [applause] This is what we will be able [to do?]. [applause] All of our children will grow up in a better world. (Yes, That’s right) This is what we seek, and this is what we will develop right here in Albany, Georgia.

God bless you; don’t let nobody (Turn you around, Turn you around) turn you around. (Turn you around) We’ve gone too far now (Yes, Yes sir) to turn back. (Amen, That’s right) Don’t let the City Commission turn you around. (No) Don’t let any official turn you around. (No) And for God’s sake, as I said to a group this afternoon, don’t be afraid (That’s right, That’s right), for if you are afraid you are a slave.21 You may get in a march and wonder why at your age are you marching. (Yes) Just look up enough to say, “I’m marching for my children and my grandchildren (Go ahead, Yeah), and I’m willing to suffer for them.” (Go ahead, Go ahead) [applause] We may make this [applause], and you may make this significant witness at this hour, and this is our great opportunity to give a nonviolent witness.

We will be saying more to you about the plans, but I just want you to know now that we have requested all that we can request of the City Commission. (Yes) We’ve asked them to talk about these things. We haven’t been dangerous rabble-rousers and agitators (No), even though for political reasons they called us that, but deep down within, they know that we have loving spirits and nonviolent hearts. (Amen, Amen, Amen) We have asked and we have pleaded with them (Yes), and now we have no alternative (That’s right) but to put on our marching shoes (Yeah, Yeah, All right, All right, All right) [applause] and move on toward the city hall. (Yes) Not the city hall of Chief Pritchett (No), not the city hall of Mayor Kelley, not the city hall of the City Commission (Well), but the city hall of the people. (Yes, Go ahead, Yes, That’s right) And we move there to pray and ask God’s guidance. And if we don’t get there (Yes, Yes), we are ready to fill up the jails all over the state of Georgia. (Yes) [applause]

And I know we shall overcome. (Oh Yeah, Yes, Yes, One of these days) I know we shall overcome. (Yes) We shall overcome because we are right. (Yes) And so I say, “Have faith in the future (Yes), and keep moving.” As I’ve said so often: “If you can’t run, walk (Yes); if you can’t walk (Crawl), crawl (Crawl, Yes); if you can’t crawl, just keep inching along. But by all means, keep moving.” [applause]

1. A five-member African American delegation attended the packed City Commission meeting and sat in the back of the room. In what a reporter called an “unusual action,” a crowd of whites applauded as the mayor and the six commissioners entered the room. The meeting had been the first between the Albany Movement and the entire City Commission since February 1962. Marion Page, executive secretary of the Albany Movement, presented the commission with a five-point desegregation petition, which included desegregation of bus and train terminals, the return of cash bonds for property bonds for those arrested, desegregation of city buses, no police interference with the right to protest, and quick disposition of cases of arrested demonstrators. Albany’s mayor, Asa Kelley, dismissed the Albany Movement’s requests, stating that the matter was already under consideration by the federal district court (“Albany, Ga., Hears Negro Pleas but Refuses to Take Any Action,” New York Times, 16 August 1962; Don Kimsey, “Await Court Action, Mayor Tells Negroes,” Albany Herald, 16 August 1962).

2. Albany’s Board of City Commissioners consisted of five members: T. H. McCollum, L. W. Mott, C. B. Pritchett, W. C. Holman, and Allen Fleming Davis.

3. Ralph Lord Roy (1928– ), a white CORE activist and pastor at Grace Methodist Church in New York, participated in an unsuccessful attempt to integrate several all-white churches in Albany with a small group of ministers on 12 August 1962. For more on Roy’s efforts, see King to Roy, 22 August 1962, pp. 602–604 in this volume.

4. National Council of Churches official Helen Kenyon labeled eleven o’clock on Sunday morning as “the most segregated time” in the United States (“Worship Hour Found Time of Segregation,” New York Times, 4 November 1952; see also Robert J. McCracken, “Discrimination—The Shame of Sunday Morning,” The Pulpit 26, no. 2 [February 1955]: 4–5). King cites the title of John Oxenham’s hymn “In Christ There Is No East or West” (1908).

5. Cf. Amos 5:24.

6. Cf. Micah 6:8.

7. Cf. Acts 17:26.

8. Cf. Matthew 5:8, 5:5, 7:12.

9. Cf. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1943), p. 134.

10. “‘No Deal,’ City Informs Negro Violators of Law,” Albany Herald, 16 July 1962.

11. Cf. Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, trans. B. Jowett (New York: Scribner’s, 1911).

12. Cf. Daniel 3:16–18.

13. The Plessy doctrine of 1896 established the “separate but equal” law, which was inherently unjust and reinforced the subjugation of African Americans.

14. Carl Sanders, who was running for governor of Georgia against arch-segregationist Marvin Griffin, stated that if elected governor, he would not interfere with local law enforcement and would continue to support the courts until the segregation laws were changed: “I believe in law and order, I believe in dignity and respect.” Sanders defeated Griffin in the gubernatorial Democratic primary on 18 September 1962 (Sanders, Press conference on the events in Albany, Ga., 30 July 1962).

15. King refers to Georgia governor Eugene Talmadge, who held office from 1933–1937, 1940–1943, and was reelected in 1946 but passed away before assuming office, and his son, Herman Talmadge, who was governor of Georgia from 1948–1955 and served as a Georgia senator from 1957–1981. King also mentions Theodore Bilbo in Mississippi, who was elected lieutenant governor between 1912–1916, twice served as governor from 1916–1920 and 1928–1932, and represented the state in the Senate from 1908–1912 and 1935–1947; as well as John Patterson, who served as attorney general of Alabama from 1955–1959 and governor from 1959–1963.

16. Cf. William Shakespeare, Othello, act 3, scene 3.

17. Cf. Isaac Watts, “Jesus Shall Reign” (1719).

18. King paraphrases John Oxenham’s hymn “In Christ There Is No East or West” (1908).

19. King paraphrases Edward Perronet’s hymn “All Hail the Power of Jesus’Name” (1779).

20. King paraphrases the “Hallelujah Chorus” in George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah (1741).

21. Earlier that day King visited the burnt remains of the Shady Grove Baptist Church in Leesburg, Georgia.

Source: 

Nashville, Tenn.: Creed Records, Nashboro Record Company, 1984.