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Interview by Joe Azbell

King, Martin Luther, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Threats/attacks against
Montgomery Bus Boycott


Joe Azbell of the Montgomery Advertiser interviewed King the day after his conviction. According to Azbell, King stated during the interview: “We don’t want to be unreasonable. We would end the boycott tomorrow if we could get some type of give. But we’re not getting any give. We’re being treated like we’re down there to cause trouble. ’’ 1

[King:] I feel that there will be a victory and it will be greater than any particular race. It will be for the improvement of the whole of Montgomery, and I think that is so because this is a spiritual movement depending on moral and spiritual forces.

[Azbell:] You’ve had some rather personal trying experiences yourself. Are you afraid?

[King:] No I’m not. My attitude is that this is a great cause, it is a great issue that we are confronted with and that the consequences for my personal life are not particularly important. It is the triumph of the cause that I am concerned about. And I have always felt that ultimately along the way of life an individual must stand up and be counted and be willing to face the consequences whatever they are. And if he is filled with fear he cannot do it. My great prayer is always for God to save me from the paralysis of crippling fear, because I think when a person lives with the fears of the consequences for his personal life he can never do anything in terms of lifting the whole of humanity and solving many of the social problems which we confront in every age and every generation.

1. Quoted in “Awakenings (1954-1956),” rough-cut script for episode in the documentary series Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights years, 1986, Blackside, Inc.


MMFR-INP, Montgomery to Memphis Film Research Files, In Private Hands, Sync Sound 48.