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Intersecting Movements

Martin Luther King Jr. was not only a leader in the campaign to end segregation, but also a brilliant coordinator, working with national leaders from a variety of movements who were in solidarity with that struggle. The African-American community itself was complex and dynamic; within it there were leaders who represented a variety of perspectives and efforts directed towards justice, fairness and equality in the United States and around the world. This theme is intended to provide a selection of the documents that represent Dr. King’s engagement of intersecting social movements. It includes correspondence related to organized labor, black nationalism, pan-Africanism and peace organizations.

Request from The Wooster Afro-American Students Organization

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The Wooster Afro-American Students Organization inquires if Dr. King would be available to speak to the institute about the concept of Black Power.

Tuesday, March 19, 1968

Manuscript by MLK dated 2/3/62 entitled "People in Action"

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In this 1962 draft for his column in the New York Amsterdam News, Dr. King emphasizes that school desegregation and the Rosa Parks incident are crucial turning points in the Civil Rights Movement.

Saturday, February 3, 1962

Letter from SANE's Dr. Benjamin Spock to MLK

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Dr. Benjamin Spock requests the support of the SCLC for "A Rally for Peace in Vietnam." Dr. Spock informs Dr. King, that the rally will advocate for immediate actions concerning the war in Vietnam.

Tuesday, May 4, 1965

MLK Letter to Mr. Abe Feinglass

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Dr. King writes to Abe Feinglass of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen's Union, thanking him for the union's booklet on civil rights, "The Time Is Now." King also encloses a statement of endorsement.

Monday, July 27, 1964

Letter from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to MLK

Canon L. John Collins, a founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, invites Dr. King to speak at a rally in Trafalgar Square in London, England. The proposed rally will be based on the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and Collins would like to provide a direct link between the rally and the Washington March through the participation of both Bayard Rustin and Dr. King.

Letter from John Lewis to MLK

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In this letter, John Lewis requests a loan for the amount of $10,000 from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference so that the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee can meet their payroll and cover pressing bills. He then speaks on the importance of continuous dialogue between the SCLC and SNCC.

Thursday, July 22, 1965

Telegram from MLK to Judy Silver & Gordon Geller

Dr. King salutes the Cincinnati Committee of Concern for Soviet Jewry for their efforts to end discrimination against the Jewish people of the U.S.S.R.

Letter from MLK to Leslie Dunbar

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Dr. King writes to Dr. Leslie Dunbar to assure her that the SCLC was indeed ready and able to administer CEP Grant Funds for that school year.

Monday, August 22, 1966

Support Negro Business

This ad by Operation Breadbasket contains a letter from Dr. King promoting support of Negro businesses.

Unity West Program

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Unity West issues this worship program for June 1967.

Thursday, June 1, 1967

Letter from Walter Martin to SCLC Officials

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Walter Martin of the American Friends Service Committee, writes to numerous SCLC officials concerning Quaker work in Southern Africa.

Tuesday, February 28, 1967

Telegram from Nathan Cooper to MLK

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Referring to Dr. King as a southern fascist, Nathan Cooper telegrams his demands for an immediate two- hour national radio television civil rights debate.

Sunday, October 23, 1960

Letter from Pierre C. Armand to MLK

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Mr. Armand writes Dr. King concerning the goals of The Haitian Community Center in New York City. The Center attempts to institute programming in order to alleviate the various difficulties of the Haitian community. Mr. Armand also invites Dr. King to speak at a distinguished event as an honorary guest.

Monday, April 1, 1968

The Massachusetts Review: A Legacy of Creative Protest

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Dr. King writes of the influence of Henry David Thoreau's essay on the duty of civil disobedience in forming his belief that non-cooperation with evil is a moral obligation. He cites lunch-counter sit-ins, freedom rides, and the bus boycott as evidence that Thoreau’s thinking is still alive. This article appeared in a special 1962 issue of The Massachusetts Review commemorating the centennial of Thoreau’s death.

Friday, September 7, 1962

Conference on Strengthening the New Politics

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Paul Albert forwards this letter to all individuals invited to and interested in the Shoreham Conference, in which Liberals address the shortcomings of American politics.

Monday, December 20, 1965

Invitation to Harry Belafonte Concert

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Dr. King invites friends to a Harry Belafonte concert, which is a benefit performance for the SCLC.

Friday, May 25, 1962

Statement from American Jewish Congress Regarding the Bundy School-Decentralization Plan

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Murray A. Gordon, a New York lawyer and national vice president of the American Jewish Congress, endorses the Bundy School-Decentralization plan. Mr. Gordon believes that the reform is essential to good education and assures teachers that the plan will not violate their rights.

Wednesday, February 28, 1968

Letter from Theodore E. Brown to MLK

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The Director of the American Negro Leadership Conference On Africa sent this letter to update Dr. King and other committee members about plans for the third national biennial leadership conference.

Wednesday, October 12, 1966

Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America

Stokely Carmichael and Dr. Charles Hamilton are in partnership with SNCC to promote the Black Power Movement. SNCC creates "freedom gifts" to provide the community with the expression of the "humanistic spirit" and goal of the movement. These freedom gifts range from posters, poetry, calendars, and more.

Address by MLK to American Jewish Committee

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In this speech, Dr. King addresses the Civil Rights Movement and the use of nonviolent demonstration tactics. He distinguishes between civil disobedience, which involves breaking laws that one does not agree with, and nonviolent demonstration, which involves using one's right to protest. He states that nonviolent protest is inherently American, citing examples from the Civil War, the Suffragettes, and the American Jewish Committee's own lobbying from the early 20th Century.

Thursday, May 20, 1965

Letter from Prince Johannes of Bohemia to MLK

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Prince Johannes, claimant to the throne of Bohemia, requests Dr. King's participation in the Presidium of the World Government.

Sunday, December 17, 1967

Campaign for a World Constitution Leaflet

This pamphlet announces a World Constitutional Convention to be held in Switzerland. Dr. King, who was among the signers of a "Call for a Constitutional Convention," is quoted in the leaflet stating that a world government would lessen tensions.

Black Power - Dr. Vincent Harding

Dr. Harding gives a full detailed presentation on Black Power before the Southeastern Regional Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

Letter from Walter Gibson to MLK

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Mr. Gibson writes to Dr. King concerning his political position on the Vietnam War. He believes that the war is a just war because the end is to help the South Vietnamese halt the spread of communism.

Tuesday, December 5, 1967

SCLC Annual Report by MLK, 1965

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Dr King delivered this report at the SCLC's ninth annual national convention in Birmingham, Alabama. Serving essentially as a State of the Union address for the SCLC, the report touches on the major topics of the Civil Rights Movement and the recent achievements and goals of the SCLC.

Wednesday, August 11, 1965

Memorandum from Theodore Brown to MLK and Others

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Theodore Brown informs Dr. King and other civil rights leaders of a previous letter to President Johnson regarding United States-Africa relations.

Wednesday, May 17, 1967

Letter from Bishop P. Randolph Shy to MLK

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Presiding Bishop of The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, P. Randolph Shy, declines Dr. King's invitation to attend an upcoming convention. Bishop Shy mentions that he will make a contribution "through our churches to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference."

Friday, August 11, 1967

Statement from the Eisenhower Administration to the NAACP

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In an address to the NAACP, Vice President Richard Nixon discusses the reasons that progress has been made in the Eisenhower Administration and the goals that the organization needs to continue working toward.

Sunday, June 26, 1955

"Dr. King Denounces Write-In Plot"

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Contrary to what radio announcements and newspapers advertise, Dr. King urges Negro voters to vote for a presidential candidate that is already on the ballot. He expresses that he is not a candidate and does not want voters to write his name on the ballot.

Monday, November 2, 1964

Letter from James Bevel on the Spring Mobilization Committee

James Bevel, national director of the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, offers insight into the purpose of the committee. The committee focuses on launching two mass demonstrations to stop the war, with the goal of "seeking to stimulate increased activity everywhere."

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