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To Alberta Williams King

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Date: June 11, 1944

Location: Simsbury, Conn.

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Family


Although King had just completed his junior year in high school, he spent the summer of 1944 working with Morehouse College students on a Connecticut tobacco farm owned by Cullman Brothers, Inc.1 This, the first of four letters he wrote that summer, comments on attending a nonsegregated church in Simsbury and leading Sunday services for the other students in the program. King later traced his call to the ministry to “the summer of 1944 when I felt an inescapable urge to serve society.”2 King asks his mother to see Clinton Nathaniel Cornell, principal of Booker T. Washington High School, about the results of the test he had taken to gain early admission to Morehouse.

Dear Mother:

I received your letter and was very glad to here from you. I am doing fine and still having a nice time. Tell everybody at home hello. We went to church Sunday in Simsbury and we were the only negro’s there Negroes and whites go the the same church. Sunday morning we had church in the boad house and I lead it I an the religious leader I have to speak on some text every Sunday to 107 boys we really have good meetings.

Our work is very easy we have to get up a 6:00 every day and be in the bed a 10:00. I have a job in the Kicthin so I get better food than any of the boys and more I get as much as I want. Tell daddy hello and I am praying for the church and all. I will write again soon.

Your Son
[signed] M. L.

P. S. Dont forget to see Mr Conell about the test as soon as possible

1. At the top of the letter, King writes “Cullman Bro Inc.,” as part of the return address.  

2. See King, Application for Admission to Crozer Theological Seminary, February 1948, p. 144 in this volume.

Source: CKFC, INP, Christine King Farris Collection, In Private Hands.

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