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Merton's Correspondence with:

Marlon D. Green; Marlon Green

Green, Marlon D.  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1961-1963, 2004
Volume: 20 item(s); 68 pg(s)

Scope and Content

In this exchange of letters, Merton expresses his support of Civil Rights in the case of Marlon Green's battle to become a commercial pilot in spite of discriminatory hiring practices. Green sought out Merton's spiritual advice and looked for another in the Catholic Church that would support him in his efforts after reading Merton's "Letter to an Innocent Bystander". Green sent him correspondence and articles related to his case, and Merton sent Green some of his articles.


Marlon D. Green became the first African-American to be hired as a commercial pilot for a major airline. He was an experienced Air Force pilot, and though there was a need for pilots after World War II, minorities were not being hired for pilot positions in civilian life. He protested these discriminatory practices since the late 1950's, but was not hired until the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 1963.

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

See also references to Merton in Turbulence Before Takeoff: The Life & Times of Aviation Pioneer Marlon DeWitt Green.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1961/08/14 (#01) TLS to Merton I believe that your Letter to an Innocent Bystander is a beautiful expression of the right likes Merton's article - does the message apply to his "plight as a Negro and airplane pilot?" - Green does not think so, but asks Merton's help in "bringing heroic Christian expression to this problem of adverse racial distinctions" / humorous founding of the "Protagonists for Positive Precipitous Protest" - membership for Merton «detailed view»
2. 1961/08/14 (#02) TL[x] to Merton I believe that your Letter to an Innocent Bystander is a beautiful expression of the right [same as "TLS" letter from the same date, but lists the following enclosures: "Gewirtz letter," "Letter to Bishop Albers," "Green reply to Colorado District Court," and "State Journal article on Mich. PEPC"] «detailed view»
3. 1961/08/14 (#03) TL[c]  from Green, Marlon / to Stanley Gewirtz In a telephone conversation today a generous acquaintance of mine, Mr. Richard Witkin, Aviation letter attached to 1961/08/14 letter and dated 1961/06/08 to Stanley Gewirtz, Vice Chairman of Project Horizons with the Federal Aviation Agency in Washington, D.C. «detailed view»
4. 1961/08/14 (#04) other to Merton NEGRO PILOT CRITICIZES FEPC [-] Marlon D. Green, a Negro pilot for the state highway department, transcript of article from The State Journal in Lansing, Michigan, regarding Green's case of discriminatory hiring practices of some major airlines / 3,500 hours of flying time with the Air Force and no job offers / William L. Johnson - former Michigan gubernatorial candidate and Ironwood radio station owner «detailed view»
5. 1961/08/14 (#05) TL[c]  from Green, Marlon / to Joseph Albers Taught by our Saviour's command and following His divine instruction, we make bold to say: MEXICAN letter attached to 1961/08/14 letter and dated 1961/07/02 to Bishop Joseph H. Albers of Lansing, Michigan / writing in protest of Albers' decision to establish a separate Spanish speaking parish - Green states that it is a form of segregation and discrimination against Mexican-Americans «detailed view»
6. 1961/08/23 TLS[x] from Merton Thanks for your very good letter and the enclosures which give me at least some idea of your Merton offers to help by writing a letter / invites Green to Gethsemani / Merton says Bishop may be trying to meet a need in the Mexican parish like that of other ethnic parishes (German, Polish, etc.) / example of Martin Luther King, Jr. / sending back Colorado District Court enclosure / sending Auschwitz poem «detailed view»
7. 1961/09/05 TL[x] to Continental Southern Lines I urge you to practice your belief in the equality of your customers by ending the odious custom [to Continental Southern Lines, Incorporated, headquartered in Alexandria, Louisiana, who operated Continental Trailways busses] calls for an end to racial segregation on busses and in terminal facilities / asks for a monetary refund for a portion of his last trip that was not used «detailed view»
8. 1961/09/07 TL[x] to Merton Thank you very much for the privilege of discussing employment discrimination with you last Thursday employment discrimination / dialogue with Fr. Evans about problems of race / Merton's suggestion to contact Fr. John Loftus [Bellarmine College]; and Robert Lax and Edward Rice of Jubilee / enjoyed Mounier's article "Negro in American Culture" in Cross Currents «detailed view»
9. 1963/03/20 (#01) TLS[x] from Merton Thanks for letting me know about the hearing. I will bring it to the attention of the community saying Mass for Green's court hearing / "the race issue is symptomatic of many other weaknesses" / Merton gives full support in fighting for blacks in America / glad that America, "a rather conservative magazine", published article / sending book not getting published [Peace in the Post-Christian Era?] «detailed view»
10. 1963/03/20? (#02) other from Merton A Signed Confession of Crimes Against the State [-] It was printed in the behavior of Titan [sic] [photocopy of article sent to Green by Merton in 1963/03/20? - handwritten notes [by Merton?] say "Pasternak denied his own confession in advance" - dated 1959] «detailed view»
11. 1963/03/20? (#03) other from Merton ZEN CATHOLICISM [-] Dom Aelred Graham's Suggestion [-] by T. Merton [photocopy of book review sent to Green by Merton in 1963/03/20?] «detailed view»
12. 1963/03/20? (#04) other from Merton A RULER'S EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE [-] Some texts from Francois Fenelon [photocopy of article sent to Green by Merton in 1963/03/20?] «detailed view»
13. 1963/03/20? (#05) other from Merton Hope you have not got into this particular mess fomented by our government! God bless you always photocopy of typescript for article "The Machine Gun in the Fallout Shelter" with handwritten annotation from Merton to Marlon Green (also photocopied) «detailed view»
14. 1963/04/22 TL[x] to Friends I was sitting at my typewriter like this when CBS News came on at 11 this morning and WOW! [circular letter mimeographed and sent to Merton and Marlon Green's other friends] Richard C. Hottelet from CBS News - regarding the unanimous ruling in Green's favor by the Supreme Court - ramifications for Continental / T. Raber Taylor «detailed view»
15. 1963/04/25 TLS[x]  from Fox, James / to Marlon Green We saw your picture in the paper, and that you had won your case with the United States Supreme [letter from Dom James Fox, Abbot of Gethsemani] Green's Supreme Court victory / lack of success at Gethsemani in retaining black vocations - one black man taking vows within a month «detailed view»
16. 1963/05/08 TLS[x] from Merton Great news. Congratulations. This is a very big step forward and you deserve a great deal of congratulations on successful ruling in the Supreme Court / racial problems in Alabama - courage of non-violent demonstrators - example of blacks that whites need to live up to / time of crisis and change - Sigmund Freud's statement that "civilization was a kind of sickness" / sending recent book «detailed view»
17. 2004/07/22 (#01) TLS to Center from Green, Paula In response to your email dated 19 July, herewith the copies of correspondence between my father sending photocopies of 3 letters between Green and Merton, and 1 letter between Dom James Fox and Green «detailed view»
18. 2004/07/22 (#02) other to Center from Green, Paula Materials following: 1. MDG Biography (updated July 2004 - pcg) 2. T. Raber Taylor obituary (RMN sending photocopies of background information about Paula Green's father, Marlon Green and the Supreme Court Case «detailed view»
19. 2004/08/29 TLS to Center from Green, Paula Well, as a follow-up to our 22 July letter, herewith a few more "finds" of correspondence between my letter accompanying transmittal of additional letters between Merton and Marlon Green - includes a listing of previously sent letters and the contents of the current letter / status of missing enclosure from 1961/08/14 «detailed view»
20. undated/no/no other from Merton + For Marlon Green, Paternally in Xt [-] T. Merton [-] CHANT TO BE USED IN PROCESSIONS [photocopy of poem, "Chant to Be Used in Processions around a Site with Furnaces" - original typescript and handwritten note sent to Marlon Green] «detailed view»

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