Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

To June Shagaloff

Main content start

Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr. (Montgomery Improvement Association)

Date: May 15, 1957

Location: Montgomery, Ala.?

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Career in Ministry


In a 26 April letter, Shagaloff reminded King of their discussion in Washington about the Encampment for Citizenship, an eleven-year-old project bringing together young adults from diverse racial and economic backgrounds for six weeks.1 Shagaloff requested King's help in recruiting students for the program and also invited him to speak to the gathering, which took place in New York from 30 June to 10 August; King addressed the group on 26 July.2

Miss June Shagaloff, Coordinator 
Committee of Social Science Consultants 
N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. 
107 West 43rd Street 
New York 36, New York

Dear Miss Shagaloff:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of April 26. I must apologize for being somewhat tardy in my reply. Absence from the city and the accumulation of a flood of mail account for the delay.

As I said to you in Washington I will be delighted to seek to secure students for the Encampment for Citizenship. At this time I am in the process of following that through. So far I have not been able to find the persons who would be available for the six week institute. As soon as I return from the Pilgrimage, however, I will start looking for ideal persons once more. I am quite certain that there are persons in Montgomery who would have a real interest in the Encampment, and who could make a real contribution.

You spoke to me concerning speaking for the Encampment this summer. After checking my calendar, I find that the only possible time that I could make the trip would be the week of July 22. If a date can be worked out at this time I will be very happy to accept the invitation. Certainly I would not think of any type of enumeration for this Encampment, but circumstances make it necessary to request transportation expenses. I will look forward to hearing from you on this matter at your earliest convenience.

Thanks again for your interest in Montgomery. I hope we will find it possible to make the Encampment experiences available for at least one Negro youth in Montgomery.

Very sincerely yours, 
M. L. King, Jr., 

(Dictated by Rev. King, but transcribed and signed in his absence.)

1. June Ruth Shagaloff (1928-) graduated with a B.A. (1950) from New York University. From 1951 until 1961 she served as field secretary and then social science coordinator for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. In 1952 Shagaloff was arrested with other NAACP representatives in Cairo, Illinois, for assisting school desegregation efforts. For three years Shagaloff directed the civil rights program of the Encampment for Citizenship, and in 1961 she was appointed special assistant for education with the national NAACP. Shagaloff frequently contributed to The Crisis and other publications.

2. In a 23 September letter to King, Shagaloff thanked him for his visit: ‘‘You left a profound impression, intellectually and emotionally, on the white students both from the North and the South. For the Negro students, your visit perhaps was even more important for different reasons. Your comments were discussed, analyzed, and thought about until the end of the Encampment, and I have no doubt that in these difficult days are being recalled.”

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

© Copyright Information