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Martin Luther King’s entire FBI file as posted by the original Memory Hole

Russ Kick – “The existence of MLK’s full file had been known in certain circles; many university libraries have it on microform/microfiche, and it’s been used as source material for numerous books through the years. So in 2008, I filed a FOIA request specifically asking for the entire thing on PDF. And I got it. I posted it to the original Memory Hole website, marking the first time it had been made available online. I’m now posting it to The Memory Hole 2. A helpful guide to the FBI’s MLK file is here. “Part 1″ covers the entire main file on King. ”Part 2″ is a guide to the FBI’s King-Levison file. A couple of important notes about King’s file in general. The 16,659 pages don’t truly encompass all of King’s FBI file – however, this is all that the Bureau has released. As is often the case, they’ve withheld some pages under exemptions allowed by the Freedom of Information Act. Also, a 1977 court order forced the FBI to remove portions of the file and send them to the National Archives, where they’re sealed until 2027. You can read all about this in “Part 1″ of the guide mentioned above and here. Note that this is the main MLK file (i.e., the one compiled at FBI Headquarters). It contains some documents from FBI field offices, but the separate field office files on King aren’t included in their entireties in his main file. I hope to post these in the future.”

See also the Washington Post – In “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” King offered a scathing critique of “white moderates” unwilling to do the right thing that still resonates today:

“First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

“To read the whole letter, which is archived at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, go here. Or you can listen to a recording of King reading the letter here.”

The New York Times – “In interviews at churches in Washington; Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; Miami; and Brockton, Mass., black Americans … said they saw America slipping into an earlier, uglier version of itself.”

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