Module 08: Jackie Robinson, Civil Rights Leader?

Evidence 13: Letter to the White House

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Jackie Robinson sent the following letter to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1961.


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[Stamped Received at White House]

Chock Full O'Nuts
425 Lexington Avenue
New York 17, N.Y.

May 29, 1961

The Honorable Robert Kennedy
Attorney General of the United States
Washington, D.C.

My dear Mr. Attorney General:

Many thanks to you for your very kind answer to my letter of May 8th. While I did not anticipate that my previous letter would get the attention it received, I am pleased that my present position is known to all who read it.

You are doing a capital job, and we applaud you.

Because I have no personal ax to grind, I can express my true feelings. I feel that until more Negroes are willing to sacrifice ease and comfort, we will continue to suffer. You can depend upon my expressing my views. I do not pretend to be an expert, by my views will be voiced.

As you know, I had complete confidence in your predecessor. However, you few months in office have been a real source of inspiration. I can only hope that you are allowed to continue your drive for equality among Americans. There can be no denying that your definite action is responsible for world-wide approval. Everywhere, at home and abroad, your department, under you dynamic leadership, shows that it means business.

You have earned our respect. We are proud of the job you are doing.

With kindest personal regards I am
Jackie Robinson (signature)

National Archives, ARC Identifier: 193948,

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