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Dr. King the Scholar

As a pastor and theologian, Dr. King modeled the life of a public intellectual. He was a consummate scholar, speaker and writer. Growing up the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, Dr. King was surrounded by opportunities for informal learning. In his life and studies, he had exposure to some of the nation’s brightest minds. He excelled in his days as a student at Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary and Boston University. Dr. King knew the liberating power of education and this undoubtedly informed his efforts to make that power available to all children in America. This theme provides a selection of documents related to Dr. King’s life as a student and scholar.

The Purpose of Religion

Dr. King argues that the purpose of religion is not to "perpetuate a dogma," but to create witnesses to the power of God. He also considers whether salvation comes from upholding a particular creed or whether it comes from an individual reconciling with God.

Plato Psychology

Dr. King explores Plato's contribution to psychology.

May 17 -- 11 Years Later

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Dr. King discusses the eleven years since the Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were not constitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. He explains that it was not until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that people began to understand the harms of segregation.

Saturday, May 22, 1965

God

Dr. King cites the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy regarding the topic of monotheism.

MLK's Transcript from Crozer Theological Seminary

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In 1948, Dr. King entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. Engaging in a sincere quest for knowledge, he sought stimulation in the works of several prominent areas, like philosophy and theology. As a result of his efforts and achievements at Crozer, Dr. King was chosen as the Valedictorian of the graduating class of 1951.

Wednesday, December 6, 1950

Relation Between Esthetics and Science

Dr. King writes notes regarding "The Relation Between Esthetics and Science." King cites several philosophers, psychologists, and scientists, and their different theories regarding science, mathematics, art, and esthetics.

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

MLK Outline on Preaching Ministry

Dr. King outlines the development of the preaching ministry. As an aspiring minister, Dr. King expresses how he wishes to develop his own ministry and provides ideas of the message he desires to share.

Out of Segregation's Long Night

Dr. King addresses the crisis of race relations in America by asserting that there would not be a crisis if blacks accepted inferiority and injustice. He also discusses the physical and spiritual harm that segregation and slavery has caused for blacks and the effect that violence has on the community. Dr. King closes with remarks regarding nonviolence and what it truly represents.

Draft Speech for Atlanta Nobel Peace Prize Reception

Dr. King drafts a speech that he will make in Atlanta for the reception honoring his Nobel Peace Prize winning. In the speech he offers his gratitude to friends and family who supported him in his efforts. Dr. King also briefly discusses the issue of racial injustice and the continued fight for equality.

Error

This set of note cards written by Dr. King explores the causation of error. King quotes Alfred North Whitehead's "The Concept of Nature" noting several reasons as to the rise of error.

Syllabus for the History of Christianity

This document is a course syllabus for the History of Christianity.

Notes about Books

Dr. King opposes the existence of books that degrade the Negro image and falsely contribute to a "national brainwashing." He cites quotations from novelist John Steinbeck, which discourse on the "sacred" nature of a book.

MLK Norway Radio Interview

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Dr. King addresses the importance of the Chicago Adult Education Project and the impact it would have on the Lawndale community. Issues of discrimination, segregation, racism, and oppression have lead to constant riots and violence in this densely populated area. Dr. King submits the idea that, to cure the issue of the "ghetto", Americans and the government must work to eradicate the causes by offering better education, better housing, and fair wages instead of "anti-riot" legislation.

Monday, November 9, 1964

In a Word- Now

This is a draft of the article "In a Word-Now" written by Dr. King. It was published in the New York Times on September 29, 1963.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

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In 1964, Dr. King became the first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At age 35, he was also the youngest recipient of the award to date. Emphasizing a philosophy of nonviolence, Dr. King writes this acceptance speech commemorating the courageous work of the Civil Rights Movement. He highlights the brutality faced throughout the United States and addresses the irony of accepting a peace prize on behalf of a movement that has yet to obtain peace.

Thursday, December 10, 1964

Book Fair at Hofstra University

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Mrs. Wilbur Scott requests that Dr. King donate an autographed book, picture or any memento for the Hofstra University Book Fair to raise funds in support of the new university library.

Monday, March 13, 1967

Crozer Theological Seminary Brochure

This brochure provides information about Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. The brochure lists full details of the campus, programs of study, and admissions.

MLK Examination Book for Bible Course

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Dr. King answers a number of questions for an exam in his Bible course. He covers diverse topics, including prophecy and the Book of Job.

Tuesday, March 26, 1946

Pilgrimage to Nonviolence

Dr. King's essay "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence" provides a replete account of the thinkers, ideas and sentiments responsible for his pledge to nonviolence.

Photograph of MLK Receiving Honorary Degree

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This photograph shows Dr. King receiving an honorary degree from Boston University.

Monday, June 1, 1959

Letter from MLK to George Bass

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Dr. King responds to Mrs. George Bass' recent letter inviting him to speak at the annual convention of the Planned Parenthood Association. Dr. King regretfully declines the invitation because his schedule is booked for the entire month of January.

Friday, June 17, 1966

Bible 252

This exam from a course entitled "Bible 252" lists forty-eight questions regarding Biblical knowledge.

The Dilemma of White America

This early draft of the Racism and the White Backlash chapter of Dr. King's Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? explores the history and philosophy of white supremacy. King insists the current status of Negroes is the direct result of oppression by whites, who have developed delusional beliefs to justify their historic acts of colonization and slavery.

The Danger of Misguided Goodness

Under the title, "The Danger of Misguided Goodness," the central message in these sermon notes is the need for all individuals to be morally conscientious.

1964 Election

Dr. King explains "a sizable number of Negro voters" will register for the 1964 presidential election, recognizing the significance of political participation.

Citation for MLK

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This document contains the passage read on the occasion of the conferral of an honorary doctoral degree from University of Bridgeport to Dr. King.

Sunday, June 4, 1961

Transcripts for Courses at Harvard University

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Lois Ryan forwards a transcript for two courses that Dr. King took while studying at Harvard University. These courses were Philosophy of Plate: Introductory and The Philosophy of Whitehead.

Thursday, August 13, 1953

This is Dr. King's official transcript from Morehouse College for 1944-1948

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This is Dr. King's official transcript from Morehouse College from 1944-1948.

Tuesday, November 7, 1950

MLK's Notes On the Influence of Radio

Dr. King records information regarding religious broadcasting. He list percentages of public influence, prize giveaways and other relevant historical details.

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