One lined page with Rosa Parks' handwritten notes in pencil and blue pen. Measures 10 1/2 x 8''. The aging and yellowing of the paper, and the dates of the events described, would date this document c. 1960s.
At the top of the page Ms. Parks wrote, "Library of Negro Life + History." Below that, "Dr. MLK jr w/ fellow Baptist Ministers, the Revs. R. D. Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth, Wyatt Tee Walker, Andrew Young organized the SCLC. Dr. King was elected its president".
In 1957, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was created. The organization emerged in large part as a reaction to the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Martin Luther King, Jr, who was a part of its creation, became its President. The SCLC advocated for nonviolent resistance to fighting for civil rights, as well as the involvement of spirituality and the church in the fight for social justice. The other men that Rosa Parks mentions in her note, particularly Revs. Abernathy and Shuttlesworth, were key figures in the creation and guidance of the SCLC, as well as notable civil rights leaders themselves.
Andrew Young was the Executive Director of the SCLC, and later became a Congressman for Georgia, an ambassador to the United Nations, and eventually, the mayor of Atlanta. He would have been the youngest of the men Ms. Parks mentions in this note, as he was only 25 at the time of the founding of the SCLC. Abernathy and Shuttlesworth were prominent civil rights leaders at the time of the formation of the SCLC. After King's assassination, Abernathy served as President of the SCLC. Shuttlesworth was a key member of the organization, also going on to become one of its Presidents, and an absolutely fearless opponent of segregation and racism. Wyatt Tee Walker was a chief of staff to Martin Luther King, one of the earliest board members of the SCLC, and went on to work in the development of Harlem.
Note: From 2007 to 2014, Guernsey's was the custodian of the complete Rosa Parks Archive. Guernsey's was chosen for this humbling task by a Detroit court. When instructed by the court to find a permanent home for the collection, it was made perfectly clear that no items could be sold individually and that indeed the Archive, for historic reasons, had to stay together.
With offers from the Smithsonian, the Henry Ford Museum, and many prominent Universities, the Archive was ultimately sold, intact, to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The Foundation never took possession of the Archive, but instead instructed Guernsey's to work closely with the United States Library of Congress, where the Archive now resides.
In an interview given on National Public Radio, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden described the Rosa Parks Archive as the "most important collection within the Library of Congress's 120 million documents, rare books, and other holdings".
A key part of the Archive consisted of Ms. Rosa Parks' almost journal-like notes. These were observations, recollections, and reflections about pivotal times and people in Ms. Parks' life and in the Civil Rights movement. It is not clear if these notes were ever meant to be seen by others, or were ways for Ms. Parks to remember such important people and occurrences. Some of the most important documents in this auction are these writings by Ms. Parks.
From the Gregory Reed Collection. Gregory Reed was Rosa Parks' lawyer, and consequently had in his possession a number of documents relating to African American history and the Civil Rights movement. Additionally, he represented the family members and Estates of members of various Motown groups, such as the Temptations.