King received scores of sympathetic letters after the bombing, from both friends and strangers. Franklin wrote this letter of solace while unable to sleep.1 She later became active in the Birmingham civil rights movement. Her own church, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, was bombed in 1963, killing four young girls.
Dear Rev. King,
For years, we Negro Mothers of the Southland have prayed that God would send us a leader such as you are. Now that the Almighty has regarded our lowly estate and has raised you up among us, I am indeed grateful. Be asured that day and night without ceasing I shall be praying for your safety and that of your family’s. The Arm of God is everlastingly strong and Sufficient to keep you and yours. There shall no harm come to you, and the Comforting Spirit of God shall guide you.
A fellow Suffer
(Mrs.) Pinkie S. Franklin
of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
1. Pinkie Smith Franklin (1915-) was born in Selma and graduated from Alabama State College in 1938. She taught in Alabama schools before opening a grocery store in Birmingham with her husband in 1946. She was a member of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). As a participant in the Birmingham civil rights protests of 1963 she was jailed for two days.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.