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To Bayard Rustin

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Date: November 10, 1958

Location: Montgomery, Ala.?

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Political and Social Views


Prompted by a 31 October letter from Hilary Rubinstein, director of the firm that published Stride in Britain, King asks Rustin to send names and addresses of people in England who might write favorable reviews. On 12 November Rustin sent King the names of eighteen English pacifists and civil rights advocates.1

Mr. Bayard Rustin
203 W. 107th
Apartment #8-C
New York, New York

Dear Bayard:

The company which is publishing my book in England wrote me and asked me to give names and addresses of anyone in Great Britain and the British Commonwealth whose advance opinions about my book, on receipt of a proof, might help them to find a larger audience. They have in mind personal friends whose opinions and sympathies are similar to mine, or those with a special interest in my theme. Actually, I do not know such persons, but I am sure you do. Please send the names and addresses of these persons to me.

Enclosed is a check for two hundred dollars made to you for salary as Executive Assistant. This is for four weeks. I am not sure of the date that the payments were to begin. Please get this information to me so that I can keep an accurate record and let us arrange a monthly date for the payment to be made.

Yours truly,
Martin L. King, Jr.

P.S. Please send me Bill Sutherland’s and Gbema’s addresses.2 I would like to send them copies of my book.

Enclosure: 1 check

1. On 28 November King’s secretary sent Rubinstein a biographical sketch of King and enclosed a list of names and addresses, most likely the ones that Rustin had suggested. Among the names Rustin proposed were the following: novelist Canon Collins; anticolonial activist and minister Michael Scott; Fenner Brockway, who introduced anti-discrimination laws in the House of Commons; Allen Skinner, former editor of Peace News; Michael Foote, liberal editor of the Tribune; Reginald Reynolds, writer and Gandhi associate; Kingsley Martin, editor of the New Statesman and the Nation; Max Parker of FOR; Charles Raven, chaplain to the Queen; J. B. Priestly, novelist and social critic; Bertrand Russell, philosopher and pacifist; Benjamin Britten, musician and Gandhian; and Dame Sybil Thorndike, actress and follower of Gandhi.

2. King refers to K. A. Gbedemah, Ghana’s minister of finance. William Sutherland, a colleague of Rustin’s, was Gbedemah’s private secretary and helped arrange the Kings’ visit to Ghana in March 1957. King later sent Gbedemah a copy of Stride and asked that he share it with Sutherland (King to Gbedemah, 4 May 1959).

Source: MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.

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