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Wilkins - 6

which have been referred to here. Medgar Evers was one. The whole
world was plunged into shock and mourning when an assassin's bul
let took the life of our beloved President, John F. Kennedy. Then
came Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in April, 1968, and with deadly
swiftness, Senator Robert F. Kennedy in June, 1968.

All were efforts to halt change. Perhaps the killing of King
is the clearest of the three, although the Kennedy brothers were
certainly harbingers of a new order. But King was definitely iden
tifiable as a leader in the decade's upsurge in civil rights. His
death just might halt the onrush. It would certainly stir the
black populace to emotional and violent, even destructive, action.

It would upset the country, perhaps call down repressive
action by a nation which felt itself threatened. If this developed
and the control were successful, though bloody, the increase in
sullen, resentful and frustrated black revolutionaries would be a
dividend for the forces of racial suspicion and division.

As we look back on the trying days following the King assas
sination, resentment was created in some segments of the black com
munity, but the crop of black revolutionaries amounted to but a
handful.

In the between years, in January, 1966, occurred the fire
bombing of the home of Vernon Dahmer, in Hattiesburg, Miss. Dahmer,
a prosperous business man, committed the "crime" of allowing his
grocery store to be used as a depository by those of his people who
desired to register to vote. He lost his life, his store and his
home to the mob. What the commanding officers told his sons when
they were sent from their regiments to attend their father's

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