KING, Martin Luther, Jr., Rev. (1925-1968). Typed letter signed (''Martin L. King, Jr.'') to Ronald Segal (1932-2008), Atlanta, 8 September 1965. 1 page, 4to, on Southern Christian Leadership Conference stationery.
KING, Martin Luther, Jr., Rev. (1925-1968). Typed letter signed ("Martin L. King, Jr.") to Ronald Segal (1932-2008), Atlanta, 8 September 1965. 1 page, 4to, on Southern Christian Leadership Conference stationery.
KING PLEDGES "TO END THE LONG NIGHT OF MAN'S INHUMANITY TO MAN" IN SOUTH AFRICA AND SOUTH WEST AFRICA
An eloquent and moving statement by King to one of the leaders of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, affirming his commitment to fight racism globally. "I am in receipt of your kind letter inviting me to serve as a sponsor of your International Conference on Economic Sanctions against South Africa," he tells Segal. "First, let me say how happy I am to receive your invitation. As you know, I am deeply concerned about the whole South African situation and I seek to support every creative effort to bring pressure against the governments of south Africa and South West Africa to end the long night of man's inhumanity to man. For this reason I will be happy to serve as a sponsor of your conference. Please feel free to keep me informed of developments."
It was only fitting that King's activism--so effective in America--should come home, so to speak, to South Africa, where Gandhi's non-violent resistance struggle began. "More and more," King told reporters in London in December 1964, en route to Stockholm and the Nobel Prize ceremony, "I have come to realize that racism is a world problem." He saw economic sanctions as an essential weapon against the apartheid regimes, and increasingly urged the U.S. government to use it against South Africa and Rhodesia--to the irritation of the Johnson administration.
Ronald Segal, then editor of the Penguin African Library, was a native South African and a leading anti-apartheid fighter in that country. He fled to England in the aftermath of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, and the government's crackdown on the ANC and other activists (Segal drove Oliver Tambo to safety across the border into Botswana). He was the organizer of the International Conference on Economic Sanctions against South Africa, which was initially intended as a small gathering of experts but which blossomed into a major, multinational protest effort. Some 30 countries sent delegations, with over 200 delegates taking part. A fine association of King with a leading figure of the British and South African anti-apartheid movements.