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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

SCLC Newsletter: March 1963

This is the SCLC's 1963 Spring Newsletter. Articles include: "The 22 Billion Dollar Giant" and "Solid Wall of Segregation Cracks at Albany."

SCLC Newsletter: March 1963

SCLC highlights its affiliate activities, fundraisers and efforts to rebuild burned churches in this newsletter from March of 1963. One of the cover stories focuses on the repeal of segregation laws in Albany, Georgia. The "Profile of the Month" article features Milton A. Reid and discusses his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.

SCLC Newsletter: March 1964

The March, 1964 SCLC newsletter reports many news items, including a voter registration drive in Alabama, the results of several legal cases, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an article criticizing Judge Durwood T. Pye and the use of interracial primers in Detroit's public schools.

SCLC Newsletter: September 1961

This September 1961 SCLC newsletter opens with a description of the Annual Convention scheduled to take place later that month in Nashville, Tennessee. The next section includes brief biographies of Harry Belefonte and South African singer Miriam Makeba, both slated to star in the convention's opening benefit concert. This section also outlines the advances SCLC made in its Leadership Training Program and future plans for the Citizenship Program, dedicated to increasing literacy in southern states.

SCLC Newsletter: September 1962

Dr. King discusses the terrible cost of securing voting rights for blacks, especially in Leesburg, Georgia, where the Shady Grove Baptist Church was bombed and burned following the SNCC's use of the space to register voters.

SCLC Newsletter: September 1962

This SCLC Newsletter includes several articles written by Dr. King and Wyatt Tee Walker. Some of the article titles include: "The Terrible Cost of The Ballot" and "THE CONGO, U.S.A. Albany, Georgia."

Seventh Annual Gandhi Memorial Lecture

Howard University presents Dr. King as its primary speaker for their seventh annual Gandhi Memorial Lecture in 1966. Dr. King traces the slow but meaningful progress society has made from slavery to the current civil rights movement. However, he notes that the present challenges in achieving equality involve not only the silence of individuals of good will but also the conditons that keep the Negro inferior.

Speech in Jackson, Mississippi

Dr. King addresses supporters in Jackson, Mississippi during his statewide tour for the 1968 Poor People's Campaign. He speaks of his excitement about the number of blacks in Mississippi that participated in the last congressional election. He emphasizes that the Poor People's Campaign cannot be successful without a strong coalition of organizations that see the need to combat poverty. King would be assassinated in Memphis two weeks after making this speech.

Speech to the Freedom Riders

King delivered this speech, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1961, at a rally to support the Freedom Riders. King encourages them to maintain postures and attitudes of non-violence in the face of violent responses to their actions and resistance. He assures them that while they will experience a "season of suffering," the moral rightness of their cause will prevail.

Speeches by the Leaders

In this booklet, the NAACP compiled famous speeches from the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Included are speeches from A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, Rabbi Joachim Prinz, Whitney M. Young, Matthew Ahmann, John Lewis, Walter Reuther, and Dr. King. The booklet concludes with a pledge and a picture of the throng of supporters that attended the event. test

Spring Mobilization Background Material

The Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam announces Dr. King as its speaker for their April 15 march. In addition, this document offers background information on the conflict in Vietnam.

Stars for Freedom 1967

This magazine highlights celebrities who have contributed to the Civil Rights Movement as well as the contributions of SCLC and other programs across America. Featured in the article is statement by SCLC President, Dr. King.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

This pamphlet details the history, programs and purpose of The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Tenth Annual Convention

Dr. King addresses the achievements the SCLC has accomplished over the past ten years at the Tenth Annual Convention in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. King then speaks on the fact that all of the SCLC's achievements are accomplished through nonviolence.

The American Dream

This document contains the text of an address that Dr. King gave at Plymouth Church of The Pilgrims in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. King describes the steps that should be taken in order to make the American Dream a reality.

The Ben Bella Conversation

Dr. King summarizes his recent two-hour meeting with Premier Ahmed Ben Bella of the newly-formed Algerian Republic. He mentions that Ben Bella was intimately familiar with the details of the civil rights movement and repeatedly said or inferred that “we are brothers.” King states that “the battle of the Algerians against colonialism and the battle of the Negro against segregation is a common struggle.” There are international implications for the US if it doesn’t solve its human rights problem: the nation will become a second-rate power in the world.

The Deep South in Social Revolution

The Deep South in Social Revolution was the theme for the 1961 SCLC Annual Meeting.

The Massachusetts Review: A Legacy of Creative Protest

Dr. King writes of the influence of Henry David Thoreau's essay on the duty of civil disobedience in forming his belief that non-cooperation with evil is a moral obligation. He cites lunch-counter sit-ins, freedom rides, and the bus boycott as evidence that Thoreau’s thinking is still alive. This article appeared in a special 1962 issue of The Massachusetts Review commemorating the centennial of Thoreau’s death.

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.

The Nation: Fumbling on the New Frontier by MLK

Dr. King elaborates on a report regarding civil rights and the collective efforts with the Kennedy Administration to eradicate racial discrimination. The Executive Orders from President Kennedy are unprecedented as he is attempting to eliminate employment discrimination and has appointed Negroes to key government positions. In an effort not to move "too fast," the President's legislative programs have now commenced a pace that is parallel with the consensus. Dr.

The Nation: Hammer of Civil Rights

This article by Dr. King appeared in the March 9, 1964, edition of The Nation. Dr. King discusses the impetus for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations' commitment to the cause. Recognizing the complexity of such a political movement, King lauds the President Johnson for fighting off attempts to weaken the bill. King also recognizes the achievements of the Fair Employment Committee, established by President Kennedy and headed by then-Vice President Johnson, in providing employment opportunities for many southern Negroes.

The Story of Snick

"From Freedom High to Black Power," by Gene Roberts, describes the opposing views voiced by SNCC and Dr. King regarding the civil rights movement. SNCC asserts a message of violence and black power, while Dr. King promotes a philosophy of love and nonviolence.

The Student Voice: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Newsletter

In this issue of The Student Voice, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee writes about the progress being made in the Civil Rights Movement, including recent ... desegregation of all public golf courses in Mobile, Alabama and the desegregation of lunch counters in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Sword That Heals

Dr. King, in this article adapted from his book "Why We Can't Wait," evaluates the intimidation the Negro faces as a result of securing freedom. He uses the campaigns in Birmingham, Albany, and Montgomery as backdrops to depict how the use of nonviolent direct action causes unrelenting sacrifice in the face of grave danger. This article was published in this quarterly summer 1964 issue of "The Critic."

The Time for Freedom Has Come

Dr. King discusses the evolution of Negro students partcipating in the movement. This article was published by in the New York Times Magazine on September 10, 1961.

The Wind of Change is Blowing

Dr. King addresses the positive changes that have taken place across the world and how they should continue to occur until equality is reached.

The Witness: MLK Writes from Birmingham Jail

"The Witness" publishes the second part of Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham City Jail." In this pivotal document, Dr. King expresses dissatisfaction with the white moderate and the white church regarding their silent stance on segregation and discrimination. He urges individuals to understand the delays, broken promises, and intimidation Negroes face to secure their freedom.

Transcript of National Educational Television's For Freedom Now

For Freedom Now, with host Dr. Kenneth Clark, is television’s first exchange of ideas by the leaders of five organizations engaged in securing full civil rights for Negroes. Featured guests are Dr. King of SCLC, Whitney Young of the National Urban League, James Farmer of CORE, James Forman of SNCC, and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP.

U.S. News & World Report: Negro Leaders Tell Their Plans for '64

Past, present and future efforts in the area of civil rights are discussed in interviews of five organizational leaders in the civil rights movement. These leaders are: Whitney M. Young, Jr. of the National Urban League, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of the SCLC, Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, James L. Farmer of CORE, and James Forman of SNCC.

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