Monday, January 11, 2010

Dr. King's Time in Boston . 2 | Paths to the Past

In early Seeptember 1951 ML, as his father called him, packed his bachelor belongings into a shiny new green Chevrolet and headed north for the thousand mile drive to Boston. The Chevy, equipped with the recently introduced Powerglide automatic transmission that he'd admired in a friend's car, was a gift from Daddy King as his father, Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., was often called by his family and flock. It was his reward for graduating at the top of his class after two years at Crozier Theological Seminary outside of Philadelphia.

Upon his arrival King, from the apartheid Jim Crow South, soon encountered the harsh reality of the segregated North.

I remember very well trying to find a place to live upon arrival in the fall of 1951 [in Boston]. I went into place after place where there were signs that rooms were for rent. They were until they found out I was a Negro and suddenly they had just been rented.

After some searching he and Phillip Lenud, a friend from Morehouse College where King did his undergraduate work, found an apartment at 397 Massachusetts Avenue across from the Savoy Ballroom. The Savoy has long ceased stomping (replaced by an apartment complex at 400 Mass. Ave.), but King's digs still stand, a few doors down from the Orange Line T station and marked with a small bronze plaque.

... Continued from January 8, 2010.

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