King Denies Alabama Integration Has Failed
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said here Wednesday after¬ noon that reports his integration [orces in Alabama have conced¬ ed defeat are ridiculous.
Alabama Gov. John Patterson released a statement while King was speaking at the 18th Ecu¬ menical Student Conference de-
ATHENS MESSENGER THURSDAY, DEC. 31, 1959
daring that King is leaving Mont-' gomery because he failed to car¬ ry out his integration plans.
King said in a press confer¬ ence that he will move to Atlan¬ ta, Ga., on Feb, 1 to become co- pastor of a Baptist church there. He also said the move will give him more time "to develop a noiv violent movement for racial tol¬ erance and integration throughout the South."
COMMENTmG ON the gover-' nor's allegation, King said:
"The governor will see the ab¬ surdity of his words when I re¬ turn to Alabama frequently By moving to Atlanta I will be work¬ ing in the entire South. Our pro¬ grams and plans in Alabama re¬ main exactly the same, and ^ will continue to maintain contact with integration forces there.
King said his new movement will be organized at a meeting of Negro leaders to be held some¬ time in February. He plans to take direct control of the Soath- em Christian Leadership Confer¬ ence, of which he is president.
One goal. King said, will be to recruit one million additional Ne¬
gro voters for the 1960 presiden¬ tial elections. "We will forte white politicians to give more at¬ tention to the Negro vote," he said.
AT A PRESS CONFERENCE after his morning address to the 3600 delegates to the conference, King stressed that his moving to Georgia will not lead to any un¬
democratic action. He said he did not expect any trouble in Georgia "because I have roots there and I will be serving with my father He said it is planned to push the youth program because of prejudices of the older folks but that even in this area the fear of political, economic and social reprisals will hold many back.
Some of this will arise from par- ential objections to their children participating in any such pro¬ gram.
King stated there is a gradual growth in the participation of youth but no great ground swell as yet. It was then pointed out that some students had come to the local conference against their
jparents' objections, registered ! because King was to be a speak¬ er.
i King added, in answer to a question after the conference, that there were some influential! negroes who were not in favor of integration in the south, primarr ily for economic and social rea¬ sons.
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