Martin Luther King Jr Autograph manuscript unsigned

07 Feb

Autograph manuscript, unsigned, in pencil, one page, 8.5 x 11, Montgomery Improvement Association, Inc., letterhead listing King as President, no date, but circa 1957–58. Second page of a longer draft reads, in full: “been barred from membership in certain unions, and denied apprenticeship training and vocational education. In every section of the country one may find local unions existing as a serious and vicious obstacle when the Negro seeks jobs or up-grading in employment. The AFL-CIO drive to organize the south has been virtually abandon [sic] because of the massive resistance of a significant portion of the organized labor oligarchy, many.” Page has been removably encapsulated in acid-free Mylar. In fine condition, with professional silking to reverse and a couple of smudges to letterhead.

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 a few minor edits, this draft is the same as the published version, found on page 204 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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