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Martin Luther King, Jr. - Arrests

Belafonte, Harold George, Jr.

Harry Belafonte, a supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement, used his celebrity as a beloved entertainer to garner funding for the movement. In her autobiography, Coretta Scott King said of Belafonte, “Whenever we got into trouble or when tragedy struck, Harry has always come to our aid, his generous heart wide open” (Scott King, 144–145).

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

Following the 1955 merger of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), the AFL-CIO became an ally of civil rights organizations. Martin Luther King spoke of the shared goals of the civil rights and labor movements, noting in his 1961 address to the fourth AFL-CIO national convention that both African Americans and union members were fighting for “decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children, and respect in the community” (King, 11 December 1961).

Albany Movement

Formed on 17 November 1961 by representatives from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Ministerial Alliance, the Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Negro Voters League, the Albany Movement conducted a broad campaign in Albany, Georgia, that challenged all forms of segregation and discrimination. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) temporarily joined the coalition, attracting national publicity to Albany. Although the Albany Movement was successful in mobilizing massive protests during December 1961 and the following summer, it secured few concrete gains.

From Harris Wofford

Civil rights attorney Harris Wofford offers “sharp criticism” of an appeal for funds that appeared in the 29 March New York Times.1 Placed by the Committee to Defend Martin Luther King and the Struggle for Freedom in the South, the advertisement described King as “the one man who, more than any other, symbolizes the new spirit now sweeping the South.” Wofford suggests that the fund-raising effort should focus on student activists and argues that “the very name of the committee is a mistake and

To Benjamin J. Davis

Following King’s perjury indictment, black Communist Benjamin Davis reminded him that threats of imprisonment used to silence dissent have “never succeeded in stopping the march forward of the people.”1 Davis assured King that, “while we struggle to save this Martin Luther King, others will arise from your example, until they do not have enough prisons to hold the Martin Luther Kings.” In this response, King thanks Davis for his encouragement and promises to write the federal parole board in s

Albany Jail Diary from 1 August–7 August 1962

In the second part of King’s diary, published on 23 August in Jet magazine, he writes about a visit from his family, particularly his three children, whom he has not seen in several weeks. The visit, King says, “certainly gave me a lift.”1 Throughout the week, he continues to attend court proceedings on the July injunction against demonstrations in Albany.

From Cynthia and Julius Alexander

The Alexanders, Dexter Church congregants, share with King their response to his first sermon as co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.1 They also report hearing news that King had been indicted on 17 February for perjury.2 The Alexanders bemoan King’s perjury indictment, commenting “that many months ago you said we must be prepared to face some real dark days ere freedom comes.”


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