King sends Wilkins, executive secretary of the NAACP, this form letter of appreciation. Wilkins had sent a $500 contribution from the NAACP to the MIA.1
Mr. Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary,
National Association for Advancement of Colored People,
20 West 40th Street,
New York 18, N.Y.
Dear Mr. Wilkins:
This is just a note to express our deepest gratitude to you for your very fine contribution. I assure you that we will long remember your coming to our aid in this momentous struggle. Such contributions from friends and organizations sympathetic with our struggle give us renewed courage and vigor to carry on.
With every good wish, I am
M. L. King, Jr.,
1. Someone in the NAACP office noted on King’s letter that $500 had been sent to him on 17 January 1956 via Ruby Hurley, the NAACP regional secretary based in Birmingham. Roy Ottaway Wilkins (1901-1981) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. While earning his B.A. (1923) at the University of Minnesota, Wilkins joined the NAACP. After graduating Wilkins spent several years as a journalist at the Call, a leading black weekly in Kansas City, Missouri, and was elected secretary of the local NAACP. He became assistant executive secretary of the NAACP’s national branch in 1931. He succeeded W. E. B. Du Bois as editor of the NAACP’s journal, The Crisis, holding that position from 1934 to 1949. Wilkins also served as an advisor to the War Department in 1941 and a consultant for the American delegation to the United Nations in 1945. From 1955 until his retirement in 1977 he served as executive secretary of the NAACP.
RWP-DLC, Roy Wilkins Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.