Excerpt from At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years 1965-68, on Martin Luther King Jr.’s final days:
“King spent the early weeks of the new year flying around the country trying to drum up support for his poverty campaign but he found one of his toughest audiences back home in Atlanta.
“With his aide Andrew Young, King took a midnight flight through Dallas and reached home early on Jan. 15. They arrived late and exhausted for King’s morning presentation at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was the pastor. Some 60 members of the SCLC staff were gathered from scattered posts with their travel possessions, ready to disperse straight from Atlanta to recruiting assignments for the poverty campaign. SCLC executive director William Rutherford’s summons had described a mandatory workshop of crisp final instructions—’it is imperative’—but King labored more broadly to overcome festering doubt and confusion about why they must go to Washington. He thanked his father Daddy King and others for fill-in speeches to cover his tardiness. He made a faltering joke about the tepid response of friends with their coats still on—’they act like it’s cold in my church’—and betrayed rare unease in a defensive speech.”