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To Whitney M. Young

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Author: King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Date: June 21, 1958

Location: Montgomery, Ala.

Genre: Letter


King consults Young, an Atlanta educator with strong ties to the Urban League, regarding the upcoming meeting with Eisenhower.1 Young responded the same day, expressing his “complete confidence” in King and recommending that he press the president for a “firm national” response to segregationists: “Demagogues will take over in the absence of this kind of leadership as history has shown.”

dr whitney young=
atlanta university atla=

requested conference with president eisenhower finally set for monday morning roy wilkins a phillip randolph lester granger will join me at white house would appreciate your suggestions for discussion please wire me willard hotel washington dc= 2

martin luther king jr=

1. Whitney Moore Young, Jr. (1921-1971), born in Lincoln Ridge, Kentucky, received a B.S. (1941) from Kentucky State College and an M.A. (1947) from the University of Minnesota. He served as dean of the Atlanta University School of Social Work (1954-1961) before succeeding Lester Granger as executive director of the National Urban League in 1961. During the Montgomery bus boycott Young warned Ralph Abernathy, then enrolled in Atlanta University, about the need to guard against communist infiltration of the movement. Young also likely met King during the bus boycott. In the late 1960s, Young and King publicly disagreed over U.S. involvement in Vietnam; Young continued to support the war until 1969.

2. Lester Blackwell Granger (1896 -1976), born in Newport News, Virginia, received a B.A. (1918) from Dartmouth College. After returning from military service in World War I, Granger became an industrial relations officer of the Newark, New Jersey, chapter of the Urban League. He served as the organization’s national executive director (1941-1961).

Source: Whitney M. Young Papers, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.

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