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Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929-1968.  American Civil Rights leader.  Program from the Ebenezer Baptist Church, boldly signed in person, Martin Luther King.  With original affidavit of provenance.

King, undeniably the greatest civil rights leader in American history, signed this program in person for a lady from Tupelo, Mississippi, following the worship service on Sunday, November 15, 1964, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he and his father were ministers.  Their names are printed at the bottom of the program.  A photo copy of the inside of the program accompanies this piece.

This is only the second time that this program has ever been available on the autograph market.  It remained in the lady's family until it was sold to another dealer a  few years ago. 

The piece comes with the original notarized statement of the son of the lady for whom King signed it.  He states that his mother "personally obtained Martin Luther King's autograph on that program on that day" and that he "can further certify that at this time I was a seminary student in Atlanta at the Interdenominational Theological Center and witnessed this signing by Dr. King.  This signed program has been in continuous possession of our family since the date of the program" until the family sold it to the previous autograph dealer.

Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded in 1886.  King's father became its pastor in 1931.  King became an associate pastor in 1948 and joined his father as co-pastor in 1960.  King delivered many of his sermons of nonviolence, encouraging those in his church to trust God to deliver them in the struggle for civil rights, from the Ebenezer pulpit.

King was well into his career as a civil rights leader when he signed this program almost a month to the day after he became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for leading nonviolent resistance to end racial prejudice in the United States.  King had led the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955; helped to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957; organized the Birmingham campaign in early 1963; and delivered his famous “I Have A Dream" speech and later met with President John F. Kennedy on August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington.

King has boldly signed this program with a 3" blue ballpoint signature.  We have not examined the program out of the frame, but it appears to be in fine condition.  The name of the lady for whom King signed it has been matted out at the top.  The piece is double matted in gray and charcoal and framed with a photograph of King and President Lyndon B. Johnson as Johnson signs one of the Civil Rights Acts.

This is an outstanding piece, with impeccable provenance and an excellent association with the Ebenezer Baptist Church.



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