Rare Letter Signed By Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Being Sold For $95K Online
STEPHEN SOMERSTEIN

If you want to own a rare piece of history and are willing to pay a hefty price of $95,000, you can buy a rare and authentic letter signed by Martin Luther King, Jr.

This letter was reportedly written during MLK’s during the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Dr. King served as president and was the first to hold this office for the organization. It was sent to a recipient named William A. Bennett, according to TMZ. The letter was addressed from the SCLS’s Atlanta headquarters to Bennett’s Haddonfield, New Jersey residence.

The N-word has long been on an oft-debated topic in the Black community, including who can say it and under what circumstances. A rare and exceptional piece of history, in this letter, Dr. King analyzes uses of the N-word and candidly discusses the term “dark-skinned American.” 

In the 1966 letter, marked with the date January 18, Dr. King writes, “the words’ dark-skinned American’ constitutes 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 ‘ni**er.’ The word ‘ni**er’ carries with it a meaning deeply rooted in the debilitating racist case ordering of our society’s slavery and epoch and segregation era.”

Dr. King’s letter continues, “The term, ‘dark-skinned American’ often finds its way into my speeches and writing and, encouragingly, I notice it, too, in the usage of so many others… use of that and similar appellations reflect both our great heritage and our devotion to a brand of Americanism of the highest order.”

Moments In Time, one of the nation’s leading autograph dealers and well known for selling “rare original autographs and historical documents,” is now selling the letter, which was previously “held in a private collection.”

The site does not currently indicate how long the letter can be bid on or who has bid on the letter.

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