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    Southern Christian Leadership Conference Archive comprised of six documents spanning the years 1957 through 1961. Founded in 1957, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was born out of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Inspired by the activity in Montgomery, bus protests began to spread throughout the South and leaders from the various protest groups met to organize a national body to coordinate the protest effort. The result was the SCLC, based out of Atlanta, Georgia, with Martin Luther King, Jr., as its first president.

    Of particular interest are an SCLC Press Release Announcing Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, Move to Atlanta. Two typed pages, 8.5" x 11", Atlanta, December 1, 1959. Following his success with the Montgomery Improvement Association during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, King made the decision to move to Atlanta to "direct the Southwide campaign of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of which he is head." [and:] SCLC Press Release Regarding the Civil Rights Bill. Three printed pages, 14" x 8.5", Montgomery, August 8, 1957. The position of the SCLC is laid out in this "statement concerning the Civil Rights Bill." The SCLC maintains the Constitution's guarantee of every citizen's right to vote and claims that the "Senate abdicated its sworn duty and made a tragic error which will not create a more peaceful or united South or nation" by including the jury trial clause in the Civil Rights Bill. They further assert that "Irrespective of the outcome of this bill, Negroes in the South will not be demoralized, defeated nor deterred." In addition, the SCLC, in spite of "criticism leveled against Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his associates of the Montgomery struggle for freedom, we . . . unanimously reaffirm our faith and confidence in this leadership . . . [and] further maintain that because of this leadership a new Negro, determined to be free has emerged in America."

    Also included: SCLC Program for the 1960 Annual Conference. Eleven disbound pages. The annual conference was held in Shreveport, Louisiana, on October 11 through 13, 1960. Contains a map of the area; foreword by Wyatt Tee Walker, director of the SCLC; a message from SCLC President Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., regarding the philosophy of nonviolent resistance and voter registration; greetings by United Christian Movement President Cuthbert O. Simpkins; the full day-by-day program for the meeting; and a Who's Who of the Conference. [and:] Crusade for Citizenship Flyer. Four integral pages, 5.5" x 8.5", circa late 1957. Sponsored by the SCLC, the purpose of the Crusade was to "DOUBLE the NEGRO VOTE in the SOUTH." Page two contains a list of statistics related to the African-American vote and the facing page contains the mission statement. The final page contains the names of the officers of the SCLC and the members of the Executive Board. [and:] SCLC Treasurer's Report. Two typed pages, 8.5" x 11", [Atlanta]. Submitted for the fiscal year September 1, 1960, through August 31, 1961. Lists the income of the SCLC, its expenditures, and its bank balance. The income for the year from both the home office in Atlanta and the New York office came to a grand total of $159,163.91. Money came in mostly from "SCLC Direct Mail Appeals," but also from freedom rallies, gifts, labor union contributions, universities, recordings, books, etc. Expenditures (for both offices) include salaries, travel, freedom rides, bills and office supplies, etc. to a grand total of $179,445.88. In all, the Conference increased their bank balance a total of $13,882.49 over the course of the fiscal year. [and:] Institute on Nonviolence to Segregation Meeting Attendance List. Two pages, 8.5" x 11", on onionskin paper, Spelman College [Atlanta], July 22-24, 1959. Contains the names and addresses of fifty-four attendees including Dr. and Mrs. King and other prominent leaders of the civil rights movement. With a two page, typed "Report from Discussion Group 'C.'" The discussion was led by Richard B. Gregg and Rev. Ralph Abernathy.


    More Information: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. president of the SCLC, launched the Crusade for Citizenship in the latter half of 1957 with the goal of registering two million black voters by the 1960 presidential election. According to the SCLC, there were approximately 4.98 million potential black voters in the South at the time, yet only 25% of them voted or were registered to vote. The majority of states in the South required a literacy test to vote, thereby "curbing the Negro vote." The Crusade was a non-partisan movement which would hold registration clinics and workshops for leaders and utilize "public meetings and all mass communication media," all the while upholding Dr. King's philosophy of non-violent resistance. In the end, the Crusade was a failure.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
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