2,000 Jam Jersey City Church
King Visit Stirs Spirit of Unity

The Jersey Journal
Thursday, March 28, 1968
By Helen Bensimon

A new spirit of unity in community affairs is evident in Jersey City today as a result of last night’s visit by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Close to 2,00 persons jammed the Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church and its education annex to hear the Noble Peace Prize winner urge their support for his “Poor People’s Campaign” in Washington which starts April 22. Jersey City has been asked to send 200 people to the campaign, which Dr. King said could last indefinitely.

The word from the head of the Southern Christina Leadership Conference was “move.”

“If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl – but move,” he told his enthusiastic audience, which interrupted his 10-minute talk nine time to cheer.

The audience itself was an example of community unity.

Doctors, lawyers and wealthy businessmen sat next to welfare mothers. There were teachers and students, ministers, priests, nuns, a group from the anti-war Catholic Peace Fellowship and young girls from the Jersey City Job Corps Center for Women.

There were young children who sat next to their parents in unusual silence, considering that many of them had waited for several hours for Dr. King to come. Black militants spoke quietly to moderate ministers.

Poverty agency officials and political leaders were there, as well as people who generally denounce politicians and criticize the war on poverty.

Dr. King’s visit had been sponsored by a variety of groups ranging from the militant STAND to the moderate NAACP and Jersey City Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

Dr. King urged the community to reject both violence and acquiescence to the demands of the power structure.

“What we need is persistent, insistent, nonviolence where we stand up against the evil system without destroying property, he said.


Dr. Martin Luther King's Speeches In Jersey City