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From Walter R. McCall

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Author: McCall, Walter R. (Fort Valley State College)

Date: February 14, 1957

Location: Fort Valley, Ga.

Genre: Letter

Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr. - Family


King appeared on the cover of the 18 February issue of Time magazine, which featured an extensive story praising his leadership of the bus boycott: "King reached beyond lawbooks and writs, beyond violence and threats, to win his people—and challenge all people—with a spiritual force that aspired even to ending prejudice in man's mind." McCall, a classmate from Morehouse College and Crozer Theological Seminary, congratulates King on the article.

Dear Mike,

Gazing the cover of 'Time', a million thoughts came to mind. So, I just feel like dropping you a note: I trust that you keep the faith, hold the fort, never retreat, for the dagger of the spirit of Justice, an agonizing sword is pierced thru the centre of the white man's heart which evidences itself in his wild ruthless lawless counter-attack. 

Although I advise that you keep the faith, I also warn and advise that you be careful in all your movements ever. Even Jesus did. Seek to be alone, leave the scene, seek solace from above as this will do much to keep your parts in-tact, revitalized, well re-energized and—daring{ly} fortified for the great tasks at hand and those that lie ahead. You, I am sure, are aware of such need in evene undue proportions.

We know not how long the crises will last. Though long or short, we need the best ammunitions available—in alert minds, consecrated hearts and in daring souls.

Remember that my prayers follow you always. Your assistant preacher visited our church on last Sunday.1 Was glad to have him.

Norma and Juanita join me in best wishes to Coretta and the child.2

I am,

A pal, 

1. McCall likely refers to Dexter’s assistant minister T. Y. Rogers. 

2. McCall refers to his wife and daughter and to the Kings’ daughter, Yolanda. 

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

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