A few days ago on January 9th, The Herald-Sun published a story online titled, “When Martin Luther King Jr. came to Durham.” The article included a photograph of King and others walking on Durham’s West Main Street on February 16, 1960. They were on their way to the F. W. Woolworth & Company lunch counter, which the store had kept closed after the February 8th sit-in by North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University) students protesting against segregated seating. That protest came on the heels of the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in at Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1st.
The North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives is the home of The Herald-Sun negatives. There are two sets of negatives in the collection that document King’s 1960 trip to Durham: twelve negatives by Jim Thornton of King’s walk to Woolworth’s, and twenty negatives attributed to Harold Moore (based upon a caption in The Durham Sun) that depict two views of sidewalk picketers and twenty-one negatives of King visit to White Rock Baptist Church.
The above negative by Thornton has a punch-hole beneath the image area, which typically designates the photographer’s or editor’s choice images. Neither The Durham Morning Herald nor The Durham Sun published that view. Instead, the latter published a cropped view of the following negative . . . removing the young bystander of history on the far left.
During the evening, King spoke at a filled-to-capacity White Rock Baptist Church. King’s speech has been dubbed informally his “Fill Up the Jails” sermon. As The Durham Sun reported:
‘Let us not fear going to jail if the officials threaten to arrest us for standing up for our rights.’ Negroes must be willing ‘to fill up the jails of the South’ to gain their point. . . . Maybe it will take this willingness to stay in jail to arouse the dozing conscience of our nation.’