Martin Luther King Jr Autograph Manuscript in Pencil

09 Jun

Historically significant autograph manuscript in pencil, one page on the reverse of a sheet of Montgomery Improvement Association, Inc. letterhead, 8.5 x 11, no date but circa 1957–1958. King continues drafting a portion of his first book, Stride Toward Freedom. In full: “of whom have been active in white citizens councils. The existence of these conditions within the ranks of labor reveals that the job is a continuing one. The AFL-CIO must use all of the powerful forces at its command to enforce the principles it has professed. Labor leaders must continue to recognize that labor has a great stake in the struggle for civil rights, if only because the forces that are anti Negro are usually anti-labor too. The current attacks on organized labor because of the misdeed of a few malefactors should not blind us to labor’s essential role in the present crisis.” Two light circular stains near the top, otherwise fine condition.

Published in 1958, King’s first book, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, chronicled the planning, events, and aftermath of the first successful large-scale application of nonviolent resistance, the year-long Montgomery bus boycott. A comprehensive and insightful account, the book traced the journey of a community and highlighted King’s transformative devotion to equality and non-violence. This manuscript reveals a late draft of a portion of Chapter XI, titled ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’; with the exception of three minor edits, this draft is the same as the published version, found on pages 204–205 of the book. Highlighting King’s motivation to secure labor rights for all—knowing the civil rights movement was inseparably connected with the labor movement, which would enable black Americans to achieve economic freedom—this is a remarkable draft from one of the most important books of the civil rights movement. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.


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