Martin Luther King, Jr. - Threats/attacks against
Two days after Montgomery minister and MIA executive board member Robert Graetz's home was bombed, King and other Montgomery black leaders initiated correspondence with the president, urging him to order an investigation of violence by white supremacists acting with the complicity of local public officials. Presidential assistant Maxwell M. Rabb acknowledged their letter on 25 October 1956; Department of Justice officials responded on 7 September.1
King’s statement for Fellowship, the journal of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, is based on a half-hour interview recorded by Glenn Smiley on 28 February. In the article King recounts the bombing of his home on 30 January and his speech to the throng outside. Fearing that “violence was a possibility,” he urged the crowd to “manifest love” and to “carry on the struggle with the same dignity and with the same discipline that we had started out with.” A photograph of King speaking to the crowd that night graced the cover of the magazine.
Joe Azbell of the Montgomery Advertiser interviewed King the day after his conviction. According to Azbell, King stated during the interview: “We don’t want to be unreasonable. We would end the boycott tomorrow if we could get some type of give. But we’re not getting any give. We’re being treated like we’re down there to cause trouble. ’’ 1
King hears from his most important mentor at Crozer, a Baptist who taught seven of his courses at the seminary. Davis and his wife, Mildred J. Davis, convey their concern for King and his family following the bombing.
The Rev. Martin L. King, Ph.D.,
309 S. Jackson St.,
Proctor, who received graduate degrees from Crozer Seminary and Boston University, became president of Virginia Union University in 1955. Proctor had considered appointing King to replace him as dean of the university’s school of religion but apparently changed his mind after talking with King’s friend and advisor, Morehouse president Benjamin Mays.
Rev. M. L. King, Jr.
193 Boulevard, N.E.
Dear Rev. King:
This letter of support came from a member of Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, where King had occasionally served as a guest preacher while a student in Boston. Britton refers to a sermon that may have been an early version of “Loving Your Enemies,” which King later published.1 King thanked Britton for his letter on 4 June.
How are you and family. We are well.
Stanley, editor of the Louisville Defender and general president of Alpha Phi Alpha, pledges the support of the oldest African-American college fraternity, which King had joined in 1952 at Boston University.1 King’s response to this letter has not been located, but the notation “answered” appears on it.
Reverend M. L. King
309 South Jackson
Dear Brother King:
Jones, dean of the chapel at Fisk University, had been a close friend of King’s since they were fellow graduate students at Boston University. Several weeks before King’s scheduled lecture at Fisk, Jones conveys his concern and that of his wife, Mattie Parker Jones, about the bombing.
Dr. Martin Luther King
309 South Jackson Street
Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) field secretary Anne Braden informs King that a witness in the state of Tennessee’s case against the Highlander Folk School testified that he had heard King declare: “White people should be murdered to force the Federal Government to support integration.”1 King replied to Braden on 7 October.2
On 13 November Judge Eugene Carter granted the city's request for a temporary injunction halting the car pool. In a dramatic turn of events, however, a brief recess during the all-day hearing turned into an informal celebration when a reporter informed King that the Supreme Court had affirmed Browder v. Gayle. Later that evening, while forty carloads of Klan members rode through black neighborhoods, the MIA executive committee recommended that the boycott continue until the Supreme Court decision took effect.