Williams, publisher of Southern Farmer magazine, was one of the small group of white liberals in Montgomery who supported the bus boycott.1
Dear Rev. King:
I never did tell you and the other brave men who joined you in making it how fine I thought the published statement was.2
It now appears, what Gayle & Co are hawking on is that the Negro people will finally get tired of walking etc and give in. I saw 3 Negroes on an Oak Park bus this morning. Thats the most Ive seen on one bus since the Protest was launched. We have probably reached the critical period.
With every good wish,
[signed] Aubrey Williams
1. Aubrey Willis Williams (1890-1965), born in Springville, Alabama, received his B.A. (1920) from the University of Cincinnati. During the New Deal he held several posts, including executive director of the National Youth Administration. In 1945 Williams moved to Montgomery and became publisher of Southern Farmer, the South’s leading liberal magazine until it folded in 1959. From 1948 to 1963 he was president of the Southern Conference Education Fund, also serving as president of the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee from 1960 to 1963.
2. See “To the Montgomery Public,” 25 December 1955, pp. 89-93 in this volume.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.