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Martin Luther King, Jr. - Travels

From Septima Poinsette Clark

In the spring of 1956 Clark had been fired as a public school teacher in Columbia, South Carolina, when she refused to resign from the NAACP, as required by a new state law prohibiting public employees from belonging to the organization.1 Determined to carry on her civil rights activism, she then became director of workshops at Highlander Folk School. King replied to her letter on 16 August.2

To Charles C. Diggs, Jr.

On 13 March, SCLC advisory board member and Michigan congressman Diggs sent King a telegram from his Washington office expressing disappointment at the low rate of African-American voter registration in the South.1 "Even in Montgomery," he noted, "Negro voter applicants have dropped below normal." He continued, "rallies and speeches are fine for inspirational purposes but a successful registration campaign demands skillful follow up in the field."

James E. Bristol to Corinne B. Johnson

In this report to Johnson, an American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) colleague in Philadephia, Bristol, who served as King’s travel guide in India, suggests that the political and educational goals of King’s visit to India were compromised by his traveling party’s “fanatical interest in snapshots” and press coverage: “One of the motives clearly appeared to be to build up King as a world figure, and to have this build-up recorded in the US.”1 Despite a divergence of goals and poor communicat

"The Birth of a New Nation," Sermon Delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

Upon returning from Ghana, King used several occasions to share his experiences with friends and supporters in Montgomery.1 In his first sermon following his return, King draws upon Exodus to frame his impressions of Ghana's battle against colonialism. He elaborates on the spiritual and political significance of the new nation’s independence movement: “Ghana has something to say to us. It says to us first, that the oppressor never voluntarily gives freedom to the oppressed.


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