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"Press Release from Dr. King (Inside Fulton County Jail)"

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Date: October 21, 1960

Location: Atlanta, Ga.?

Genre: Press Release

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Arrests


Two days after his arrest, King comments on jailhouse conditions.1

“Much to my chagrin, the jail is segregated, also. I suppose the thing that wears on me most is the dread monotony. Sixteen hours is a long time to spend within a few square feet with nothing creative to do.

“My personal staying power is buttressed by the courage and dedication of my fellow jail-mates and the concern that has been shown around the nation and the world for this moral stand we have taken.”

Upon being asked how long he would remain in jail, Dr. King replied “as long as is necessary.”

1 In a newspaper interview conducted the same day, King, who is described as “in shirtsleeves, tie-less and unshaven,” characterized his jailers as “very courteous.” King reaffirmed his determination to refuse bail and explained that “when the students called me at the last minute to go with them, I felt I had a moral obligation to take part, since this was what I had been preaching” (Trezzvant W. Anderson, “I Had to Practice What I Preached,” Pittsburgh Courier, 29 October 1960).

Source: SCLCR-GAMK, Southern Christian Leadership Conference Records, 1954-1970, Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc., Atlanta, Ga., Box 36.

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