Over the weekend, and today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, flyers have been appearing in the yards of Midtown, a neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama, which residents say are promoting the Ku Klux Klan, according to NBC affiliate Local 15. Fifty sandwich bags containing pamphlets and cards were said to have first been found on Saturday. Local residents were described as being “not happy.”
“I saw what was in it, some cards and a little flyer. I picked it up and read it and it pretty much shocked me,” one of the Mobile residents was quoted.
“The blacks have NAACP, the Mexicans have La Raza, the Jews have JDL, and white people have the KKK,” the propaganda from the white supremacy group was reported to read. The flyer was also reported include a telephone number where those interested in learning more about the “Loyal White Knights” could call and to sarcastically wish Martin Luther King Jr. a happy birthday.
A “graphic” message at the telephone number was said have included “extreme” messages about King. No reports of confrontations between Ku Klux Klan members and Mobile residents were said to have been reported, according to the Independent Journal, though many of the Midtown, Mobile, residents were reported to have questioned why their community was targeted.
Martin Luther King Jr., who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, was said to have traveled 6 million miles and spoken publicly close to 2,500 times between 1957 and 1968. He also wrote numerous articles and five books, as well as being arrested nearly 20 times. When King was awarded the Nobel Prize, he was 35-years-old, making him the youngest recipient of the award. He donated the cash award associated with the prize, $54,123, to the “furtherance of the civil rights movement.”
Dr. King’s 1968 assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, shocked the nation, and the entire world — a national holiday named in his honor would seem a fitting tribute for a man so beloved by so many. He was in Memphis to lead a march being held in support of striking garbage collection workers when he was shot dead.
“Five score years ago, a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation… One-hundred years later, the life of the negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination,” Martin Luther King Jr. solemnly declared at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, ending at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, while making his famous “I have a dream” speech.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. Mobile, in neighboring Alabama, as many U.S. cities and towns do, has a Martin Luther King Avenue. King was active in Alabama throughout his life. The same year he delivered his “I have a dream” speech, King was reported to have helped organize a series of protests known as the Birmingham Campaign aimed at putting an end to the segregationist policies that prevailed in the city, according to the King Encyclopedia.
On April 2, 1963, protesters lead by Dr. King held mass gatherings, restaurant sit-ins, marches on Birmingham City Hall, and the boycott of merchants in the city who maintained segregated businesses. On April 10, the City of Birmingham was reported to have been granted a court order demanding the demonstrations stop.
After a great deal of consideration, and debate among his followers, King decided to defy the court order on April 12, when he was arrested and jailed, and reportedly denied the opportunity to call his wife, Coretta Scott King, who lived until 2006. After spending eight nights in jail, Dr. King was released from on April 20, when his supporters were able to raise his bail money.
A Birmingham march on May 2, 1963, resulted in the arrest of hundreds of African Americans. In the days that followed, “images of children being blasted by high-pressure fire hoses, clubbed by police officers, and attacked by police dogs appeared on television and in newspapers, triggering international outrage.”
By mid-May, 1963, 3,000 National Guard troops had been called in to deal with non-stop protests and demonstrations. However, King succeeded in negotiating the “The Birmingham Truce Agreement,” which called for the removal of many segregationist policies in the community.
Four months later, in September, 1968, the Ku Klux Klan was reported to have attacked the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, murdering four children. Dr. King delivered the eulogy for three of the little girls, calling them “the martyred heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity.”
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