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From Roland E. Haynes

Haynes, Roland E.
November 27, 1956
Boston, Mass.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Family


Haynes, a fellow Baptist minister and Boston University alumnus, compliments King on his speech at the Ford Hall Forum and encourages him to rest.1 King replied on 17 December.

The Reverend Martin Luther King
% The Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
Montgomery, Alabama

Dear “M. L.”:

Congratulations to you and all who have continued to struggle and sacrifice for the dignity of mankind and justice. I am sure that I voice the sentiment of all of the fellows here and faculty members when I say to you God’s richest Blessings upon you and yours’.

For sometime I have wanted to write you and thank you for that most powerful address (I call it a sermon) you gave to us at Ford Hall. It was brilliantly delivered. And I believe M. L. that Dr. DeWolf came the closest in describing it in its essence—simply SUPERB. You need not worry about it being intellectually representive of your learning and background. For indeed you caused the whole city to take notes. Keep up the good work.

I sincerely hope, M. L. that you will take very seriously Dr. DeWolf’s and Dean Muelder’s suggestion to take a rest at your earliest opportunity.2 Now M. L. I personally realize that this is not as easy as it sounds. However, you study in through as you generally do and let God help you to come to some decision.

This coming Christmas holidays, Minnie and I hope to be in Atlanta for a few days. If you are going to be there, I would like very much to see you. Perhaps, we could get together in an informal setting. I will see your Father and my dear friend. It will be like old home folks getting together again. If you have time drop me a line concerning your plans for the holidays.

I trust that Veretta’s concert was a success.3 And how is the baby? One wonders how one can effectively play the role of Pastor, Husband, Father and Public Leader when all every role demands so much from the individual. I am praying that you will continue to give your all on the altar of God and live close to Him. You have a rare talent and an ingenuis mind. I guess I sound like an old man talking to you in this fashion; but M. L., I am still very concerned in your health and the continued success of the movement not only from the standpoint of a fellow Negro but also as a believing Christian. Again, many thanks to you for your “superb” sermon; I remain,

Very Sincerely,

1. Roland Emerson Haynes (1928-) received his B.A. (1949) from Clark College in Atlanta and his S.T.B. (1952), S.T.M. (1953), and Ph.D. (1961) from Boston University. He was a minister and professor of psychology and religion at Clark College from 1957 to 1962. He then taught at several colleges in South Carolina before joining the University of South Carolina faculty in 1972.

2. See Muelder to King, 16 September 1956; King to Muelder, 3 October 1956, pp. 387-388 in this volume; and L. Harold DeWolf to King, 9 November 1956, p. 423 in this volume.

3. Haynes refers to Coretta Scott King’s performance at the New York benefit concert on 5 December.


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