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"Speeches"

MLK's Speech on Civil Rights and Vietnam

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Dr. King speaks about his role as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement and his position on the Vietnam War.

Wednesday, April 5, 1967

We Return to Birmingham Jail to Bear Witness

On his way to turn themselves in to Birmingham jail again in 1967, Dr. King writes this article in longhand, asserting the purposes of the civil rights activists' civil disobedience. Their unjust incarceration, he states, will allow them to bear witness to an unjust justice system, from Bull Connor's dogs to the US Supreme Court. The Court had just issued a decision supporting Connor's injunction forbidding the protests of the Birmingham campaign, which had led to his first incarceration there in 1963.

MLK Press Statement Regarding Riots in Los Angeles

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In this statement to the press, Dr. King comments on the Watts Riots that took place in Los Angeles, California. He further discusses the economic, social and racial inequalities that he feels were the cause of the violence.

Friday, August 20, 1965

The Importance of Voting

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This transcript documents Dr. King's recorded statement intended to raise awareness of voting and voter registration.

Thursday, September 6, 1962

Statement on Election Returns and White Backlash

An Analysis of the Ethical Demands of Integration

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Dr. King argues that desegregation is only the first step towards the ultimate goal of complete racial equality. He explains that nonviolence, driven by the power of love, is crucial to create true integration.

Thursday, December 27, 1962

MLK Address to the Congress of Federated Organizations

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Dr. King addresses the participants in the COFO Mississippi Summer Freedom Project in 1964. He pledges the full support of the SCLC to aid in their mission to register Negro voters and educate them in the process of political participation. In spite of bombings, arrests, and other forms of intimidation, Dr. King urges the members of COFO to persistently work to eliminate the roadblocks to full citizenship.

Wednesday, July 1, 1964

The Road to Freedom

This draft of Dr. King's "The Road to Freedom" speech explains "there is nothing more powerful in all the world than an idea whose time has come." He further states that the time has indeed come for the ideas of human dignity and freedom.

Address by MLK at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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In his address to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. King discusses the subject of the "Church on the Frontier of Racial Tension." King describes the crisis state of the US as it passes from an old order of segregation to a new order of integration, proclaiming that this is both a moral issues as well as a political issues. King implores the church to open the channels of communication between races and institute social reform, especially economic justice. Lastly, he invites all people to step into the new age with understanding and creative good will in their hearts.

Wednesday, April 19, 1961

The Casualties of The War In Vietnam

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Dr. King speaks on behalf of the United States presence in Vietnam at a symposium held in Los Angeles, California. He addresses the moral, social, and political causalities that arise as result of war. Moreover, he urges the powers that be to allocate resources for good and rather than evil.

Saturday, February 25, 1967

Speech to the Synagogue Council of America

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Dr. King receives the Judaism and World Peace Award from the Synagogue Council of America and uses the occasion to speak about the Civil Rights Movement and international peace. He laments the vehement criticism of dissent and discussion of the Vietnam War and enumerates reasons why the Hebrew prophets are so needed today.

Sunday, December 5, 1965

School Desegregation 10 Years Later

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Dr. King says that there have been few strides made in school desegregation. He says that schools that comply with the desegregation laws do it at an appalling slow pace. Lastly, he says that although there needs to be more progress in both the north and the south, he has hope for the future.

Thursday, May 7, 1964

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

MLK at the Jefferson County Armory

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In this outline, Dr. King discusses voting and the importance of citizenship. One of the important points, in Dr. King's outline, states: "Political Parties Must Deliver on Their Promises."

Tuesday, August 23, 1960

Address to Members of the Hungry Club

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Dr. King discusses the Negro's dilemma in an address to the members of the Hungry Club in Atlanta, Georgia. He argues that some of the challenges facing the Negro are: taking advantage of all the new federal programs, encouraging youth to go into higher education, and developing massive action programs to rid unjust systems. Dr. King also states three myths the Negro should explore: the myth of time, the myth of "exaggerated progress," and the myth of "total reliance on the boothstrap philosophy."

Wednesday, December 15, 1965

Statement by MLK on the U.S. Stand in Vietnam

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Dr. King discusses how to involve the public in discussions regarding the Vietnam War. He states that the public should be educated about the history and issues of the war.

Tuesday, April 4, 1967

MLK Statement Before the Credentials Committee of the DNC

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Dr. King addresses the Democratic National Committee urging them to stand up against the inequities that prevent Negro participation in the political process in the state of Mississippi.

Saturday, August 22, 1964

SCLC President's Report - MLK

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Delivered at the Tenth Annual Convention of the SCLC, Dr. King presents the annual report for the organization. King addresses several elements of the Civil Rights Movement as he discusses the successes, plans, goals, and vision of the SCLC in relation to the wider movement it represents.

Wednesday, August 10, 1966

MLK's Weekend Itinerary

This itinerary reflects Dr. King's schedule of speaking engagements at various churches and schools throughout Alabama.

One Vote for Every Man: Civil Rights Act

In this draft of an article for the March 1965 IUD Agenda, an AFL-CIO monthly publication, Dr. King recounts the progress made by the Civil Rights Movement and states that the issue in 1965 is the right to vote and the venue is Selma, Alabama. He discusses the pattern of exclusion, including the abuse of power by local sheriffs, illegal use of local and state laws, delay tactics of registrars, and literacy tests. He outlines measures that a Civil Rights Act of 1965 should include.

MLK's Gadsden, Alabama Rally Speech

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This transcript of Dr. King's address during the Gadsden, Alabama Rally addresses the ills of segregation in the South. He professes that the accusation of civil rights demonstrations being responsible for creating tension is equivalent to blaming the act of robbery on the wealth of man.

Friday, June 21, 1963

Partial Transcript: Speech at Guardian Association

Dr. King discusses the events in Montgomery, Alabama as a catalyst in what will become a new world. He stresses that the honor he receives from the Garden Association is not just for him, but for the fifty thousand supporters of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

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

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.

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