A piece of history, discussing an ugly word, is now up for sale – for a pretty penny.
A January 1966 letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. candidly talking about the N-word and the term “dark skinned American” is available. According to TMZ, the artifact was written to a man named William A. Bennett of Haddonfield, N.J., and embraces the term “dark skinned,” which the famed civil rights champion says reflects “both our great heritage and our devotion to a brand of Americanism of the highest order."
In regards to the N-word, MLK notes it "carries with it a meaning deeply rooted in the debilitating racist caste ordering of our society's slavery epoch and segregation era."
At the time, King was president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and had completed nearly a year of activism in the name of voting rights in places like Selma, Ala., where he joined a young John Lewis, in the “Bloody Sunday” march, which led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Months after he wrote the letter, King would embark on the Chicago Campaign in which the SCLC planned to expand their civil rights activities to cities in the northern United States.
From there, King also turned his attention to issues concerning the Vietnam War and labor in the United States before he was slain in April 1968.
The letter written to Bennett was previously held in a private collection until recently. Now, it’s for sale via autograph and historical letters and documents dealer Moments In Time for $95,000. Other items on the site include a undated love letter written by slain hip hop legend Tupac Shakur to a woman named Simi Chouhan for $85,000 and a 1964 letter from Malcolm X upon completion of his Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca for an unlisted price.
Read the letter written by Dr. King in full here.