Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Freedom Rides

Starting in 1961, civil rights activists rode interstate buses into the South to test the region’s refusal to adopt the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Boynton v. Virginia (1960) that segregation in public transportation violates the U.S. Constitution. On May 4, an integrated group of 13 Freedom Riders left Washington, D.C. on a bus to New Orleans. They were refused service in terminal restaurants and waiting areas, arrested and beaten by mobs while the police watched. Over several months, 60 integrated Freedom Rides took place with about 450 riders, supported by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The national attention that the beaten and arrested riders garnered shook the nation, inspiring participation in civil rights campaigns across the country.

Associated Archive Content : 89 results

Address by MLK to the National Press Club

During an address to the National Press Club in Washington, Dr. King declares the time for racial justice has arrived.

Address By Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the SCLC

Senator Edward M. Kennedy highlights Dr. King's efforts during the Civil Rights Movement. He also expresses concerns about poverty, unemployment, nonviolence, segregation and integrity.

Address for the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights

This address was delivered by Dr. King at the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights event on May 17, 1962. Dr. King opens by discussing various anniversaries that coincide with the event and represent similar struggles for justice including the Supreme Court school desegregation ruling, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Henry David Thoreau's death.

America's Chief Moral Dilemma

Dr. King's address to the Hungry Club highlights an array of issues that relate to America's "Moral Dilemma." Dr. King explains the three major evil dilemmas that face the nation: war, poverty, and racism.

Amsterdam News: The Terrible Cost of the Ballot

Dr. King excites public confidence towards the Civil Rights Movement by describing a devastating occurrence.

An Address by MLK at the 53rd Convention of the NAACP

Dr. King makes an address at the 53rd Convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People in Atlanta disputing the myths of the civil rights movement. In addition to expressing appreciation for the organization's work, Dr. King apologizes for the prejudice the NAACP had to endure in making accommodations for the conference in Atlanta.

Annual Report by MLK

Dr. King illustrates in his annual report the innovative changes that have occurred within the country, as well as the world. He also expresses the Republican stand point on civil rights and the constant concern of racism.

Belafonte

This program details a 1961 Harry Belafonte concert sponsored by the SCLC.

Biographical Sketch of James Bevel

This one page biography summarizes the achievements of James Bevel, one of the founding members of SNCC. The biography highlights Bevel's involvement with civil rights drives in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, including the Freedom Rides and numerous SCLC action programs.

Biographical Sketches of Leaders of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

These are biographical sketches of various leaders who were involved in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedoms. These distinguished individuals were involved in organizations that focused on equality and nonviolence.

Birmingham Manifesto

This manifesto details the methods, accomplishments, failures and reasons for the use and postponement of direct action tactics in Birmingham, Alabama.

Birmingham Manifesto

The Birmingham Manifesto was formulated as a testament to explain the reasons why efforts were being made to desegregate Birmingham. According to the Manifesto, broken promises were made by city and state officials, which led to plans of direct action.

Birmingham Manifesto

This manifesto details the methods, accomplishments, failures and reasons for the use and postponement of direct action tactics in Birmingham, Alabama by the African American community and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights.

Black Power

This is a chapter sermon for Dr. King's book "Where Do We Go From Here?" The civil rights leader traces the early development of Black Power and its eventual surge onto the national political scene. Though understood as a direct opposition to the nonviolent movement that organizations like SCLC, CORE, and SNCC originally supported, King describes Black Power as a "disappointment wrapped in despair."

Black Power: Two Views

James Peck, a white civil rights activist, writes an article concerning the path of the Civil Rights Movement. He is beginning to notice that black power and black racism are taking over organizations that had been focused on nonviolence and racial equality.

Committee to Adopt a Freedom Rider

This is a brochure to an event entitled the Card Party. This event is catered to raising funds to adopt a freedom rider.

CORE Treasure's Report for 1961 Fiscal Year

The Treasurer's Report from CORE includes the balance sheet for the fiscal year of 1961. The financial report covers an array of assets, liabilities, contributions, expenditures, and more.

Draft: The Time for Freedom Has Come

In this draft of Dr. King's article, "The Time for Freedom Has Come," he discusses the role of African American students in the Civil Rights Movement. He praises the commitment and determination of students and credits them with the desegregation of lunch counters. He also identifies with the students' frustration with the slowness of forward progress in the struggle for equality. The article was published in New York Times Magazine on September 10, 1961.

Facing the Challenge of a New Life

Dr. King uses Greek Philosophy, the Christian conception of agape love, and the need for nonviolent resistance as a guideline of "Facing the Challenge of a New Life" in America. Throughout the sermon, he encourages African Americans to remain committed to the nonviolent principles of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the precepts of Christian living to facilitate the birth of a new way of life in an America dealing with violent conflicts over social conditions.

Flyer Announcing Benefit Performance by CSK

This 1962 flyer announces a benefit musical performance, featuring Mrs. King, with the proceeds going to the SCLC.

Gandhi Society for Human Rights Address by MLK

Dr. King speaks at a luncheon launching the Gandhi Society on May 17, 1962, citing the great significance of the day: the anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision declaring school segregation unconstitutional, the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the centennial of the death of Henry David Thoreau, whose essay on civil disobedience influenced Gandhi. He announces that earlier that day he sent President Kennedy a document seeking an executive order proclaiming all forms of segregation to be a violation of the US Constitution.

Howard University Charter Day Observance

Howard University celebrates its' Charter Day Observance with a program that includes a speech by Dr. King. The program also acknowledges the recipients of the Alumni Achievement Award. Such individuals include Ossie Davis and Leroy F. Florant.

Hungry Club Speech

This document is a draft copy of Dr. King's Hungry Club Speech, in which he speaks on the subject "America's Chief Moral Dilemma." He states that the dilemma is "the means by which we live have out distanced the ends for which we live." Dr. King thoroughly discusses the three major evils that contribute to this dilemma: the evil of racism, the evil poverty, and the evil of war. He also discusses the progress of the Civil Rights Movement as it enters a new phase of fighting for "genuine equality."

Hungry Club Speech

Dr. King speaks on "America's Chief Moral Dilemma." He contends that the dilemma in the world is the result of three major evils: racism, poverty, and war. Dr. King encourages the audience to work toward making America a moral example for the rest of the world.

I've Been To The Mountaintop

Dr. King delivers the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech at the Masonic Temple in Memphis, TN.

Letter from Bella McGregor to MLK

Bella T. McGregor asks Dr. King for a copy of his sermon titled "St. Paul's Letter to American Christians."

Letter from Bob Strain to MLK

Bob Strain writes Dr. King after reading an article in Newsweek entitled "Albany Movement." He apologizes for the ignorant behavior of fellow whites and expresses his desire to be a part of the movement. He also conveys his admiration for Dr. King and his work.

Letter from Franklin I. Gamwell with Enclosed Copy of the Interracial News Service Newsletter

Franklin I. Gamwell, of the Student Interracial Ministry, requests if Dr. King would like to have an intern student at Ebenezer Baptist Church for 1963.
Interracial News Service describes the experiences of many Student Interracial Ministry participants and the pastors of the churches they spent the summers with.

Letter from Grace Graham to MLK

Grace Graham, Chairman in the School of Education extends an invitation for Dr. King to give a series of lectures at several colleges in the Northwest. In addition to the University Oregon, other colleges include Montana State and Portland State.

Letter from Martha Johnson to MLK

Martha Johnson invites Dr. King to be a member of the John Brown Memorial Association, which is dedicated to the memory of its first freedom rider.

Pages