King explains the MIA’s legal needs and asks Wilkins to clarify what financial assistance the MIA will receive from the NAACP. He is particularly concerned that the MIA receive funds raised by the NAACP “in the name of our movement.”
Mr. Roy Wilkins
20 West 40th Street
New York 18, New York
Dear Mr. Wilkins:
After consulting with Attorney Shores and his associates, our association decided to have Attorney Shores represent us in the pending case in which some 90 persons have been indicted on a so-called anti-boycott law. The fees involved are $100 per person. I am sure that Attorney Shores will contact you concerning the details.
Before we can make final arrangements with these attorneys, however, we will need to know how much financial assistance will be given by the National Office of the N.A.A.C.P.
It is our understanding that the National Office will lend us financial assistance. One of the problems which we are confronting in raising funds is that so many people are giving through mass meetings sponsored by the N.A.A.C.P. with the impression that the total legal expense is being defrayed by the National Office. Since this money is being raised in the name of our movement, we are hoping that the bulk of it will come to support us in our legal struggle. With the coming of this court case our expenses have risen to astronomical proportions. Our car pool is still in operation which along with a well-staffed office will run at least $3,000 per week. And of course there is the present court case which will run approximately $10,000. And there is also the case in the federal courts which will be of tremendous expense. With all of these expenses it is vitally important that we have the support of persons and organizations over the nation.
We will appreciate all of the support that you can possibly give and we are more than grateful to the National Office for the cooperation and encouragement that it has already given to our movement.
With every good wish, I am
M. L. King, Jr.,
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.