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To Thurgood Marshall

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Date: February 6, 1958

Location: Montgomery, Ala.

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Political and Social Views

Montgomery Bus Boycott


Just four weeks after purchasing NAACP lifetime memberships for himself and the MIA, King sends a $1,000 donation to the director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in “gratitude for the invaluable assistance that the staff. . . gave us in our struggle for bus integration.” 

Thurgood Marshall, Esquire
107 West 43rd Street
New York 36, New York

Dear Thurgood:

I recommended to the Executive Board of the Montgomery Improvement Association a few weeks ago that we make a contribution to the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. This recommendation grew out of my deep sense of gratitude for the invaluable assistance that the staff of the Legal Defense Fund gave us in our struggle for bus integration and for the marvelous work it has done in the whole area of civil rights. This recommendation was unanimously accepted by the Executive Board and it was agreed that the Montgomery Improvement Association make a donation of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) to the Legal Defense Fund. My only regret is that this gift can’t be larger.

We will remain eternally grateful to you and your staff for the great work you have done for not only the Negro in particular but American Democracy in general. No sane objective, intelligent individual can deprecate the work of the NAACP.

We hope this will in some little way aid you in the struggle ahead. As you well know the legal battle is not won yet and it will take plenty money to win it. You continue winning the legal victories for us and we will work passionately and unrelentingly to implement these victories on the local level through non-violent means. It seems to me that this dynamic legal approach supplemented by mass non-violent implementation is the most powerful and constructive avenue open to the Negro at this hour.

May God continue to bless you in your great work. If I can ever be of any assistance at any point please do not hesitate to call on me. Your friend

Yours very truly,
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Enclosure: Check for $1,000.00
cc: Mr. Roy Wilkins
Dictated, but not personally signed by Dr. King.

Source: Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.

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