King, a Lansing Baptist minister and the younger brother of King, Sr., praises his nephew's “marvelous” leadership in Montgomery and invites him to speak at the Lansing Civic Center Auditorium. King accepted the invitation and addressed a civil rights rally there on 17 February 1957, but his reply to his uncle has not been found. Ven King was Joel King's wife.
Dear M. L.
Just a few lines to let you hear from me, trust you, Coretta and the baby are well, which leaves us the same.
It was nice to me the Rev. Abernathy a few weeks ago, and to see you looking so well.
I was happy to see the very fine program that was carried out by your great organization last week. Seemingly that you had all of the “Tall Timbers” of the nation present. I am sure it was a great occassion for the city of Montgomery. Certainly you have done a marvelous job.
Things are moving along here in a very fine way. I have just filed my petition for councilman at large here in the city The outlook is good, people are giving their support, both white and colored Greek and Jew. The election will be in February. (pray for the old Shepherd.)1
M. L. I am writing to you to extend an invitation to be our guest on either of these dates February, 17th or 24th. I feel its time for you to come to us. (Its almost a must)—people of all races are continually asking about your coming. I would like to make this one of the finest programs that they have had at this new huge Civic Center Auditorium. You can get some good (sugar) out of this deal if you would come at this time. Also I would like for you to bring Coretta to render several selections, along with the baby, since we haven’t seen her, and you all spend some time with us.
Think about it and let me know, as it will take some time to work up my program and engage the Auditorium. Regards to wife and baby. Ven is fine.
1. Joel King was not elected as councilman.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.