Volume 3: Birth of a New Age,
To W. A. Gayle
19 December 1956
The Honorable Mayor W. A. Gayle
Dear Mayor Gayle:
We greatly appreciate all efforts which you have previously made to maintain the peace and to keep violence at a minimum, through your public statements and otherwise. And we are hopefully looking forward to your continued efforts along these lines.
We understand that the Supreme Court's mandate concerning bus segregation has been mailed to the Federal District Court. As soon as the District Court issues the formal decree, we shall be returning to the busses.
Although we are hopeful that no violent incidents will occur, we must recognize that possibility. There is that element of violent-minded people, of both races, of which we must be mindful.
Past experience reveals that the only places where violence has occurred in connection with the busses has been at the end of lines and on very dark streets. And the hours after dark are potentially more dangerous than the daytime.
We, therefore, request that you use every precaution to prevent possible violence, and that you will insure that the above-mentioned danger zones will be patrolled with extra caution.
We reaffirm our basic conviction that violence is both impractical and immoral. We have been training our people to remain non-violent in word and deed, and not to return hate for hate. We believe that violence in our city will lead to a long and desolate night of bitterness, which will bring shame to generations yet unborn.
Thanking you for your cooperation, we remain
THLc. MLKP-MBU: Box 22.
The Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr.