Jun 16, 2022 - Sale 2609

Sale 2609 - Lot 60

Price Realized: $ 15,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
THE N-WORD: "ROOTED IN THE DEBILITATING RACIST CASTE ORDERING OF OUR . . . ERA" (CIVIL RIGHTS.) KING JR., MARTIN LUTHER. Typed Letter Signed, to William A. Bennett, Jr., contrasting the meaning of the term, "dark skinned American," as used in his own writings and speeches with the meaning of "nigger" as it has been used historically. 1 page, small 4to, "Southern Christian Leadership Conference" stationery; slight fading to signature, trimmed at all edges with minor loss to letterhead, marginal discoloration from prior matting. Atlanta, 18 January 1966

Additional Details

"I appreciated the meaningful points raised in your letter to me concerning racial appellations. The words 'dark skinned American' constitute a vivid depiction of both citizenship and race just as you point out. I agree wholeheartedly with you that the import of that term is in salient contrast with the connotation attached to the word 'nigger.' The word 'nigger' carries with it a meaning deeply rooted in the debilitating racist caste ordering of our society's slavery epoch and segregation era.
"The term, 'dark skinned American,' often finds its way into my speeches and writings and, encouragingly, I notice it, too, in the usage of so many others. The use of that and similar appellations reflect both our great heritage and our devotion to a brand of Americanism of the highest order."