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To Harry Belafonte

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.; King, Coretta Scott

Date: March 25, 1959

Location: Montgomery, Ala.?

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Travels

Student movements


After arriving in New York City from India on 18 March, the Kings spent an evening at the home of entertainer and civil rights supporter Harry Belafonte.

Mr. Harry Belafonte
300 West End Avenue
Apartment 5-C
New York, New York

Dear Harry:

This is just a note to again express our appreciation to you and Julie for so graciously entertaining us in your palatial apartment a few nights ago. We will long remember the enjoyable moments we spent together. It was also good to have seen the great movie, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” with you, and to have met your many lovely friends afterwards.1

We are now fairly well rested up after our long flight across the Atlantic. However, we are now confronting a load of accumulated work at home, and I am sure we will be playing a game of catch up for many weeks to come. Give our best regards to Julie and to your handsome son, David. We will look forward to seeing you at the Youth March in Washington and also on “Person to Person” the night before.2

Very sincerely yours,
Martin and Coretta

1. Among the people King met was actress Shelley Winters, who won an Academy Award for her role in the Anne Frank movie. The following day Winters sent King a copy of the book The Diary of a Young Girlwith a note: “I know how tired you and your wife were last night so thanks again for coming to the film” (Winters to King, 19 March 1959). In 1942 Anne Frank, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl, went into hiding during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. In March 1945, two months before the German surrender, Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Her diary, originally published in Dutch in 1947, first appeared in English in 1952.

2. Belafonte helped promote the 1958 and 1959 Youth Marches for Integrated Schools (see King, Address at Youth March, 25 October 1958, in Papers 4:514-515, and Youth March for Integrated Schools, “A petition for integrated schools to the President and the Congress of the U.S.,” January 1959). “Person to Person,” was Edward R. Murrow’s popular Friday evening interview program on CBS.

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

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