Interview with Coretta Scott King

Now, could I just get, um, for our editing purposes, it would help if you could just give us a beginning to the story by describing how five families came to your house one night to ask for help.


Oh, I see. Ah, we, ah, as I said, we, ah, took this apartment on Hamlet Street on the west side of Chicago. And, ah, one night, ah, well Martin was home in the apartment, five different families came to him and to ask for his help and they talked about, you know, the inhuman conditions under which they were living, ah, ah, the lack of proper sanitation, ah, the, ah, lack of extermination of, from rats and that kind of thing, ah, and they were very concerned that they had to continue to live this way. And, of course, after Dr. King heard their, their pleas, and, ah, he wanted to try to help in some way. And, ah, inasmuch as he had come to Chicago for the purpose of addressing this problem. Ah, they decided then, after meeting with his staff people, ah, that, you know, one thing that could, could take place would be to, you know, just go in and, ah, and in the sense, ah, take over the buildings and start helping the people and running the apartments in the sense that, ah, people would no longer pay the rent to the landlords because the landlords were not doing anything to improve the conditions of the homes.