Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

To the Montgomery Improvement Association

Main content start

Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Date: December 8, 1960

Location: Atlanta, Ga.?

Genre: Letter

Topic: Montgomery Bus Boycott


King sends greetings to the MIA's fifth annual Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change.1

members of the montgomery improvement assocn
care dr ralph d abernathy
1327 south hall st

please accept my sincere felicitations as you observe the fifth anniversary of mia deeply regret my that legal complications make it impossible for me to be with you in person2 you must know that i am always with you in spirit and support. you are doing such marvelous things for the whole casu cause of freedom and democracy. under the dynamic and dedicated leadership of my friend and close associate ralph abernathy you are destined an even greater frontal attack on the system of segregation. your courageous non violent action will certainly be recorded as one of the glowing epics of recent history as you continue the struggle there will be inevitable moments of suffering sacrifice and tension but may you go on with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive and that beyond the present darkness there is an emerging daybreak that will usher in the worlds bright tomorrow.

martin luther king jr

1. The week-long institute opened on 5 December with an address by Anna Hedgeman, the first black woman to serve in the New York mayor's cabinet; Jackie Robinson was scheduled to give the closing speech on 11 December. Ralph Abernathy also spoke during the institute (“MIA Speaker Asks Negroes to Aid Youth,” Montgomery Advertiser, 6 December 1960, and “Local Negro Leader Asks Store Boycott,” Montgomery Advertiser, 9 December 1960; see also MIA, Program, “Fifth anniversary and the Annual Institute on Nonviolence,” 5 December-11 December 1960). King had resigned as MIA president before moving to Atlanta in early 1960 and was listed as “president emeritus” in the institute's program (see King, Address Delivered at the Montgomery Improvement Association's “Testimonial of Love and Loyalty,” 1 February 1960, pp. 358-363 in this volume).

2. King refers to the pending libel case brought by Alabama governor John Patterson.

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

© Copyright Information