NOVEMBER 24, 1938
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Wednesday—This will come to all of you on Thanksgiving Day and you will have read the President's proclamation and in your churches and in your homes you will be giving thanks for the fact that you are citizens of the United States; that under a democracy you still have the right of suffrage and may express your opinion freely and without any fear of interference unless you advocate the use of force in the overthrow of your government. For all these things we are deeply grateful, and those of us who have health are grateful for that, and those of us who have people to love, and interests which keep us mentally active are grateful for that. Above all, we are grateful for the hope of constant growth in vision and understanding as individuals and as a national group. Lastly, we are thankful for our faith in ourselves; for the feeling that we can meet and solve our problems; that we can look at ourselves honestly and finally do away with discriminations and injustices which now exist in our own country, and for the belief that we can eventually grow to the stature required of those who are citizens of a real democracy.
The Youth Panel Discussion on Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala., was extremely interesting and I think it is safe to say that the more I see of youth the more hope I have for our future.
A city ordinance was enforced at this meeting, which to some of us seemed somewhat unnecessary, but the young people showed wisdom and respect for law and order. They complied without question to this ordinance and reserved the right to protest after discussion, as certain other groups have done. I do not know, but I feel that many present objected to the ordinance, but they showed their good sense and self-restraint in not making a real issue on the spot—which might have spoiled the value of the entire meeting.
We went out to dine with Mr. Donald Comer and came back for a meeting in the auditorium, and then Miss Thompson and I wearily wended our way to the night train for Atlanta. After breakfast we were driven down to Warm Springs.
In closing I want to tell you about two little pamphlets which I have read on the train in the last few days. One is called, "Teaching Is A Man's Job" and is designed to tell young men all about the future that awaits them in the profession. I think it is well done.
The other is called, "A Primitive Gospel" by Philip Frederick Mayer. The outstanding thing about this is the answer it furnishes to the question which so many people ask themselves. If God is a God of love, why are certain things permitted to happen in a world which He created? The pamphlet is not comprehensive, it could not be in so few pages, but I think it will prove of interest to many people.