Walton, a graduate student in public relations and communications at Boston University, had been encouraged by Lafayette Dudley to share his fund-raising ideas with King.1 Concerned about “the plight of the NAACP in the South,” Walton had written to King earlier in December that “there is a need for an independent fund raising organization to support it and the organizations that take over its function where it is banned.” He proposed a structure for such an organization and suggested fund-raising techniques used by the Red Cross, which he had been researching.
Mr. Eugene Walton
School of Public Relations
84 Exeter Street
Boston 16, Massachusetts
Dear Mr. Walton:
This is to acknowledge receipt of your kind letter of recent date. It was a real pleasure hearing from you, and knowing of your intense interest in the greater expansion of democracy for American Negroes.
Naturally I am quite interested in the fund raising aspect of the various movements which are fighting for the cause of freedom. This has always been a serious problem confronting most organizations of goodwill. I have always felt that this lack of gaining adequate funds is due to a lack of proper organization. So your letter came as a real encouragement to me. I would be interested to gain further insight into your proposals and also your experiences in this area. The NAACP is always in need of funds, and of course our organization here in Montgomery is in need of funds. Please feel free at any time to make suggestions.
I am very happy to know of Lafayette Duddley’s growing interest in the cause of freedom. I am sure that you can be a real companion to him in such a noble venture. Please know that I am deeply interested in what you are doing and in all of your suggestions. Feel free to write me at any time.
Very sincerely yours,
M. L. King, Jr.,
1. Eugene Walton (1930-) was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He received two undergraduate degrees (1952, 1953) from the University of Washington and his M.S. (1957) from Boston University. After serving in several positions with the federal government, he became affirmative action coordinator for the Library of Congress. Walton had taught Dudley in Boston, where Dudley had met King in 1955. See King to Lafayette Dudley, 19 September 1956, pp. 374-375 in this volume; and Dudley to King, 15 December 1956.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.