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"Speeches"

The American Dream

The is a draft outline of Dr. King's "The American Dream" speech delivered at many colleges, universities and churches throughout the country. Dr. King urges Americans to abandon practices of discrimination in order to protect the American dream and the proliferation of the nation.

Statement by MLK on Perjury Charges

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Dr. King addresses his indictment for perjury supposedly related to improperly filed Alabama state tax returns. He points out that the tax auditor who assured him that his returns were accurate is the person bringing the charges. He proposes a group of distinguished citizens to review his books and report their findings and concludes by stating that his conscience is clear.

Wednesday, February 17, 1960

African American Unity in Atlanta, Georgia

The author of this document discusses why it is imperative for African Americans to not only stand in unity against the injustices of society, but to also be informed about the issues in which they strive to prevail against. Information about school integration, housing discrimination, and taxation is offered in the conclusion of the document.

MLK Interview: The Negro Protest

Kenneth B. Clark conducts a televised interview with Dr. King, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X. Clark discusses with Dr. King his personal history, the relationship between the love ethic and nonviolent direct action, Malcolm X's claim that nonviolence is perceived by white leaders as weakness, and Baldwin's concern that Negroes will not remain nonviolent if met with brutal responses.

Speech at Chicago Freedom Movement Rally

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Dr. King speaks of the urgent need to address issues in the city such as deplorable housing conditions, discrimination in employment, segregation and overcrowded schools. He urges his listeners to commit to fill up the jails if necessary, register every eligible Negro to vote, withhold rent from slumlords, withdraw economic support from companies that don't hire Negroes, and support Negro-owned businesses. He stresses the importance of using nonviolent methods.

Sunday, July 10, 1966

Non-Violent Procedures to Inter-Racial Harmony

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In this early speech to a NY Universalists' convention, Dr. King lays out his nonviolence method, based on Gandhi's. He outlines five of the six principles he will use later. They are: active, courageous resistance; winning the moral conversion of the opponent, not defeating him; attacking the forces of evil, rather than the persons doing evil; using love to avoid "internal violence of the spirit"; and faith in the inclination of the universe towards justice.

Tuesday, October 16, 1956

MLK Speaks to People of Watts

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Dr. King speaks on what it will take to make Los Angeles a better city.

Thursday, August 19, 1965

New York Amsterdam News: Our New President

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Dr. King opens his statement on Lyndon B. Johnson, the new president of the United States, and how the tenure of his presidency began with adversity. Due to the elected southern president, the nation questions the possible improvement of the Negro community. Dr. King asserts that President Johnson's record on civil rights is astounding and his "southern-ness" will provide him with a better understanding of the Negro's plight. Dr. King further details the perceptions, actions, and works of President Johnson's efforts in the civil rights movement.

Friday, December 27, 1963

The Role of the Church

Dr. King expresses how ineffective the Emancipation Proclamation has truly been on the Civil Rights Movement.

National Council of Churches Conference of Negro Leaders Opening Remarks

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A. Philip Randolph makes remarks at the Conference of Negro Leaders National Council of Churches about the future of the Civil Rights Movement. Randolph expresses the importance of continuing the fight of social justice through civil rights, economics, housing and poverty.

Saturday, January 30, 1965

Address by Jackie Robinson at SCLC Freedom Dinner

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Guest speaker Jackie Robinson discusses his personal struggles with adopting the philosophy of nonviolence, race relations and the far-reaching efforts of the SCLC.

Tuesday, September 25, 1962

MLK on the New York Riots

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Dr. King discusses the recent riots that occurred in New York. While some people would like to place the blame on violent blacks, King asserts that one should examine the real issues behind the violence and riots. King states that many blacks feel they will never gain equality in housing, employment, or education, which is why they react violently.

Monday, July 27, 1964

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

MLK Address to a North Carolina Branch of the NAACP

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Dr. King addresses a public meeting of Charlotte, North Carolina's NAACP branch. He lists five actions the Negro can do to assist America with realizing the dream. The Negro must challenge the system of segregation, make efforts to gain ballots, and sacrifice to achieve freedom.

Sunday, September 25, 1960

Introduction of Senator Edward M. Kennedy by MLK

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Dr. King introduces the SCLC's guest speaker, Senator Edward Kennedy at a conference in Jackson, Mississippi.

Monday, August 8, 1966

A Message from Jail

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After being arrested and charged with parading without a license, Dr. King wrote a column from jail. The column shared his and Ralph David Abernathy's decision to serve the jail sentence instead of paying a fine of $178.

Saturday, July 21, 1962

A Promising Day for the City of Selma

In this handwritten public statement, the author addresses the Negro citizens of Selma, Alabama by commending their efforts of non-violence during a one-thousand person demonstration for equal voting rights.

Press Conference on Chicago Movement

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Dr. King shares his acceptance of the invitation to spend some time in Chicago. During his time in Chicago, Dr. King and other SCLC leaders plan to assist local civil rights organizations in organizing rallies throughout the city.

Wednesday, July 7, 1965

MLK Remarks at the Launching of SCLC's Crusade for Citizenship

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Dr. King delivered this speech at a launch meeting for the Crusade for Citizenship in Miami, Florida. He discusses the denial of African Americans' right to vote by relating it to other former disfranchised Americans such as those who did not own property and women. Dr. King discusses the hypocrisy in some American officials' advocacy of democratic election in other European countries as well as the social and economic welfare of all Americans.

Wednesday, February 12, 1958

1967 Geneva Convocation

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Dr. King provides introductory remarks to participants of the Pacem In Terris II Convocation held in Geneva, Switzerland. He addresses several moral and political concerns as it relates war and Vietnam.

Monday, May 29, 1967

Epitaph for a First Lady: Eleanor Roosevelt

Upon the death of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. King wrote this epitaph, calling her "a symbol of world citizenship." In addition, Dr. King commends Mrs. Roosevelt for her commitment to humanity.

Statement Before the Credentials Committee Democratic National Committee

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Dr. King makes a plea to the Democratic National Committee to provide a delegate from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party so that there may be equal representation within the state. Dr. King's feels that by providing a delegate it may discontinue the prevention of political participation of African Americans in Mississippi.

Saturday, August 22, 1964

Beyond Vietnam

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In Dr. Kings Beyond Vietnam address, he discusses seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into "a field of moral vision," five things that the government should do to remove itself from conflict with Vietnam, the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, and Premier Diem. Dr. King also encourages those in the churches and the synagogues to speak out against the war in Vietnam.

Tuesday, April 4, 1967

Address by MLK at the Washington, DC Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom

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Dr. King gives an address at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. regarding race relations and the struggle for justice and racial equality in America. King discusses the responsibility of the President, Congress, and federal courts to ensure all blacks the have the opportunity and the right to vote. King closes by asserting that everyone must stand firm in faith and act only in love and nonviolence in the fight for these rights.

Friday, May 17, 1957

Speech to the American Psychological Association

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In this speech on the 75th anniversary of the American Psychological Association, Dr. King acknowledges the help that social science can have in the quest of Negroes for equality. He identifies three areas for study: Negro leadership, the efficacy of political action, and the psychological and ideological changes taking place in Negroes as a result of a decade of struggle.

Friday, September 1, 1967

Speech to SCLC Convention about Vietnam

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Dr. King makes one of his first public statements opposing the war in Vietnam during the SCLC Convention held in Birmingham. According to King, "Neither the American people nor the people of North Vietnam is the enemy. The true enemy is war itself, and people on both sides are trapped in its inexorable destruction."

Thursday, August 12, 1965

Democratic National Convention Platform Committee Statement

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In this statement delivered August 22, 1964, Dr. King outlines three urgent priorities for the Committee and the party as a whole: enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, furthering voting rights and the war on poverty. He asks that the platform include a recommendation that a panel of voting rights marshals be established and that the Convention support a Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.

Saturday, August 1, 1964

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

Preview of the "Dream" at Detroit March

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Two months before the famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington, King used many of the same words, rhetorical techniques, and themes. King expresses gratitude and inspiration and warns against hatred and separatism at what he thinks is the largest US demonstration to date, a march in Detroit June 23, 1963. The legacy of slavery and segregation induced a false sense of inferiority in Negroes.

Sunday, June 23, 1963

MLK's Remarks at the World March Toward Human Rights Luncheon

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This is a draft of remarks made by Dr. King to the World March Toward Human Rights Luncheon of the NAACP's Legal Education Defense Fund. The event took place at the Americana Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. King states that human rights involve two elements: recognition and opportunity. Dr. King proposes that the United States launch a Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.

Thursday, May 28, 1964

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