Monday, May 01, 2006


[sent by Western Union to the Evening Star -- Washington, D.C., 1963 - responds to William S. White editorial that opined Southern white moderates were "the real victims in this [Birmingham] affair."]

Newbold Noyes, Editor
The Evening Star
Washington, D.C.

Thank you for your courtesy in returning my letter so expeditiously. Thank you again for the instructions you gave me on how to write a letter to the Editor. I have never written such a letter before; I shall of course never do it again. You have conquered. I recommend to you or your underling who dispenses free advice and superciliousness that you read what Richard Watson Gilder (another wonderful moderate, now, praises be! forgotten editor) wrote to Stephen Crane, who thank heavens was no moderate.

You are disingenuous in saying that you have no quarrel with what I say. I have read the Star every day for as many years as you have been publishing in my native Washington. At one time it was the only Washington paper that my family and I even knew of. But it never cared for, or published, such a letter as I wrote. You do have a quarrel with what I say, and you are afraid to say so. So you kill the letter. I believe that I have read letters as long in your communications section.

Protect your sacred cows as you may, but please be moderate in the cause of the truth. Not so extremely on the false side.

Pay your underling a bonus. I shall not rewrite the letter to soothe your moderate consciences. You are hard-pressed for space. Keep your space. I will of course still subscribe to your newspaper, as I enjoy your comic pages. Increase their space.

Have you ever refused to run a column in full by David Lawrence and that bleeding heart, William S. White?

Yours for democracy in moderation.
Sterling A. Brown
A Southern (Negro -- born in D.C) Moderate
Howard University

1 comment:

evie shockley said...

this is priceless! thanks for posting it.

i'm reading, even when i'm not commenting. no thanks to you -- i had to discover your new blog for myself... : )