Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family were living in the Dexter Parsonage in Montgomery, Alabama on the evening of his transcendental experience.
As previous articles of this blog have mentioned incidents of people hearing voices of unseen communicators (including cases involving clairaudient mediums), it is worthwhile to consider one such occurrence chronicled in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. He wrote in a 1958 book that he had heard “an inner voice” during a moment when he experienced “the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before.”The event occurred one night in late January 1956. King was born on January 15, 1929 and he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. His birth certificate name is Michael Luther King, Jr. The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. were edited into autobiographical form by Clayborne Carson and published as The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1998.Carson wrote in his preface of the book: “. . . King published three major books as well as numerous articles and essays focusing on specific periods of his life. In addition, many of his speeches, sermons, letters, and unpublished manuscripts provide revealing information. Taken together, these materials provide the basis for this approximation of the autobiography that King might have written had his life not suddenly ended.” The following excerpt is from the eighth chapter of the book “The Violence of Desperate Men” concerning events during the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott. A major source for this passage is King’s Stride Toward Freedom (1958).
Almost immediately after the protest started we had begun to receive threatening telephone calls and letters. They increased as time went on. By the middle of January, they had risen to thirty and forty a day. From the beginning of the protest both my parents and Coretta’s parents always had the unconscious, and often conscious, fear that something fatal might befall us. They never had any doubt about the rightness of our actions but they were concerned about what might happen to us. My father made a beaten path between Atlanta and Montgomery throughout the days of the protest. Every time I saw him I went through a deep feeling of anxiety, because I knew that my every move was driving him deeper and deeper into a state of worry. During those days he could hardly mention the many harassments that Coretta, the baby, and I were subjected to without shedding tears.As the weeks passed, I began to see that many of the threats were in earnest. Soon I felt myself faltering and growing in fear. One day, a white friend told me that he had heard from reliable sources that plans were being made to take my life. For the first time I realized that something could happen to me. One night at a mass meeting, I found myself saying: “If one day you find me sprawled out dead, I do not want you to retaliate with a single act of violence. I urge you to continue protesting with the same dignity and discipline you have shown so far.” A strange silence came over the audience.One night toward the end of January I settled into bed late, after a strenuous day. Coretta had already fallen asleep and just as I was about to doze off the telephone rang. An angry voice said, “Listen, nigger, we’ve taken all we want from you; before next week you’ll be sorry you ever came to Montgomery.” I hung up, but I couldn’t sleep. It seemed that all of my fears had come down on me at once. I had reached the saturation point……. continues
Copyright©Mark Russell Bell
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