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Spotlights

There are nearly a million documents associated with the life of Martin Luther King Jr. These pages will present a more dynamic view than is often seen of Dr. King’s life and times. The documents reveal the scholar, the father, and the pastor. Through these papers we see the United States of America at one of its most vulnerable, most honest and perhaps most human moments in history. There are letters bearing the official marks of royalty and the equally regal compositions of children. You will see speeches, telegrams, scribbled notes, patient admonitions and urgent pleas. This spotlight shows you a glimpse of the remarkable history within this collection.

Ebenezer Baptist Church Apartment Complex

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Ralph D. Abernathy informs Mr. J. Lafayette Morgan that he is unable to supply the information Mr. Morgan requested.

Wednesday, September 13, 1967

Current Magazine

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This Current Magazine issue on racism in the U.S. features an article "Is Direct Action Necessary" by Dr. King, as well as pieces by James Meredith, James Reston, and others.

Thursday, August 1, 1963

Letter from Lyndon B. Johnson to MLK

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President Lyndon B. Johnson writes Dr. King, thanking him for sending him an advance copy of "Why We Can't Wait."

Monday, May 18, 1964

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK

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Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays writes Dr. King to ask him to consider donating his papers to the Atlanta University Center Library as an alternative to Boston University.

Thursday, May 7, 1964

Strength to Love

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This is the printer?s proof of Strength to Love, Dr. King?s book of sermons that was published in 1963. He drafted three of the sermons while serving a fifteen-day jail term in Albany, Georgia. Although his editors lauded the first draft, they later deleted strong phrases about segregation, colonialism and capitalism and many of his statements against war. The collection includes some of Dr. King's most popular sermons, including: Loving Your Enemies, Paul?s Letter to American Christians, A Knock at Midnight, A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart, and Three Dimensions of a Complete Life.

Sunday, August 11, 1963

SCLC Press Release, Poor People's Campaign

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In this press release intended for the American public and media outlets, Dr. King argues that the country is "splitting into two hostile societies and the chief destructive cutting force is white racism." The SCLC President asserts that the federal government fails to eradicate social ills, like poverty, unless it is "confronted directly and massively." Henceforth, the nonviolent April 1968 Poor People's Campaign is intended to serve as the "final victory over racism and poverty."

Monday, March 4, 1968

Letter from Dimitri Papaspyrou to MLK

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Dimitri Papaspyrou, President of the Parliament, invites Dr. King to Greece to create a better understanding between Greek and American people.

Thursday, January 26, 1967

The Man Who Was a Fool

The sermon "The Man Who Was a Fool," was published in the June 1961 issue of the journal The Pulpit. Dr. King delivered the sermon in both Chicago and Detroit in early 1961.

Letter from the TATTLER Staff to MLK

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The TATTLER staff at Atlanta's Drexel Catholic High School congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tuesday, November 10, 1964

Invitation to President Kennedy's Inauguration

This invitation was sent to Dr. and Mrs. King, inviting them to the inauguration ceremony of President-elect John F. Kennedy and Vice President-elect Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Birth of a New Nation

Dr. King compares the ongoing civil rights struggle in the United States to the Hebrews' Exodus from Egypt.

I HAVE A DREAM

Text of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech delivered August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D. C.

Response to Reasons Why African Americans Should Boycott Whitey's Olympics

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The writer responds to an article in The Post on why African Americans should boycott the Olympics. He believes that Negroes should return to Africa or form their own community in the US separate from whites. God did not intend whites and Negroes to live together, the author maintains, or would have made them the same color. Negroes should take responsibility for their own condition rather than blaming whites. test

Wednesday, February 28, 1968

Postcard Congratulating MLK for Receiving the Nobel Prize

Louise Dekker-Brus congratulates Dr. King on the Nobel Peace Prize and writes that their newspaper says that, in King, America has its Joan of Arc.

Letter from Angie Elizabeth Shelton to MLK

Mrs. Shelton expresses her gratitude to Dr. King for renewing her faith. After reading one of Dr. King's books, she states that she felt herself beginning to believe. Mrs. Shelton has decided to buy and study "Civil Disobedience" thanks to Dr. King.

MLK Reflections on the Selma March, Bloody Sunday, SNCC and Communism

Dr. King discusses the Selma to Montgomery march, calling it the "most powerful and dramatic civil rights protest ever held in the south." Dr. King also addresses criticism of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee's tactics. He concludes these notes by responding to claims that he has communist ties, denying any foreign or left-wing influence on his actions. Of Bayard Rustin and C. T.

The Modern Negro Activist

Dr. King profiles the emergent young Negro civil rights activist who is college-educated, creative, brave and committed to the discipline of non-violence. He attributes the activist's diligence to a keen awareness that they inhabit a world on the cusp of positive social change and that they will have the privilege to direct that change. They are no longer to be an imitator of his white counterpart, but rather an initiator and leader in this new age.

Letter from Chuck Barris to MLK

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Chuck Barris has received national monetary support for the truck rentals used for the Selma to Montgomery March.

Tuesday, May 4, 1965

Text of Speech Delivered at Lincoln Memorial

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This speech, given by Dr. King at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C, brings attention to the current state of oppression of Negro men and women in 1963.

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

Letter from Josephine Baker to MLK

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Josephine Baker expresses her admiration for Dr. King as a great leader and articulates her commitment to the Civil Rights Movement.

Saturday, August 31, 1963

Civil-Righters Isolation

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David Lawrence states that the recent initiatives of Negro leaders are hindering the overall mission of the Civil Rights Movement. He believes that Negro groups are defeating their own cause.

Saturday, April 1, 1967

Morehouse Introduction to Philosophy Notes

These typed notes from Dr. King’s early years at Morehouse College are for an Introduction to Philosophy course led by Professor Samuel Williams. King outlines the topic of highest ends: motive and standard, changing and unchanging morality, and reason and emotion that determine the standard.

MLK's Doctoral Dissertation Abstract: A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman

Meet the Press

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This transcript of a special 90-minute edition of NBC’s Meet the Press features Dr. King and other prominent Negro civil rights leaders discussing the topics of war, nonviolence, integration, unemployment and black power. The program was aired on radio and television.

Sunday, August 21, 1966

Photo of MLK

An unidentified photo of Dr. King from the Morehouse Collection.

Telegram from MLK to Elijah Muhammed

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Dr. King commends Muhammad Ali's conscientious objection to the Vietnam War. He encourages Elijah Muhammed to convince Ali to speak at the upcoming Tenth Annual Convention of SCLC.

Monday, August 14, 1967

President Kennedy's Record

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In this February 1962 column for the New York Amsterdam News, Dr. King acknowledges President Kennedy's appointment of Negroes and executive order ending employment discrimination. But he calls the President “cautious and defensive” in providing strong leadership in civil rights and criticizes him for not ordering an end to discrimination in federally-assisted housing.

Friday, February 9, 1962

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Pamphlet

This pamphlet promotes the historic March on Washington of August 28, 1963. The pamphlet calls upon Congress to pass civil rights legislation and end the "twin evils of discrimination and economic deprivation" that plague the nation.

Sixth Grade Wisconsin Achievement Test Responses

This is a collection of responses from sixth graders of average ability in a Wisconsin school. Although the instructions are not provided, it seems evident that the students were tasked to paraphrase the passage or, simply tell what the passage meant to them.

Letter from Robert J. McCracken to MLK

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Rev. McCracken, of Riverside Church in New York, informs Dr. King that he is scheduled to speak at two identical church services. The Church has added the second service because the New York World?s Fair will be open.

Tuesday, February 4, 1964

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