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Emancipation Proclamation

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as an executive order on January 1, 1863, after the Confederate States of America did not respond to an ultimatum that they rejoin the Union. While stating that all slaves in ten rebellion states were free, it did not outlaw slavery, compensate the owners for their “property” or make the slaves citizens. It was not until passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865 that slavery was outlawed, but the Emancipation Proclamation gave the Union troops the authority to free slaves in areas they occupied. On May 17, 1962, Dr. King delivered to the White House a document calling upon President Kennedy to mark the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation by signing an executive order outlawing segregation. That document is in this archive.

Associated Archive Content : 78 results

"A Knock At Midnight"

This is a draft of the sermon Dr. King wrote comparing a story from the Bible in St. Luke to the struggle to obtain equality and civil rights.

Address by MLK to the Hungry Club

Dr. King addresses the members of The Hungry Club on the dilemma of "Negroes" obtaining complete equality. He refers to several passages from his "I Have a Dream" speech.

Address by Rabbi Joachim Prinz

Rabbi Joachim Prinz's address at the March on Washington focuses on the importance of freedom. He relates the struggle that blacks are currently enduring to the Nazism Jews faced during the reign of Hitler.

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.

Address to Members of the Hungry Club

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."

Address to the National Bar Association

Dr. King shares with the National Bar Association of Milwaukee, the history of segregation and why African Americans fight for equality.

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.

Annual Report of The President: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the SCLC's Annual Presidential Report, Dr. King chronicles a decade of organization's activities to eliminate segregation. The report was delivered at the Tenth Anniversary Convention of the SCLC.

Article Written by MLK for The Progressive

In this unfinished draft of an article for The Progressive, Dr. King writes about the social ills of America through the context of what he calls the two most important documents in American history: the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation.

Background Information on March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

This passage provides a reason as to why the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom had to occur. The Brown vs. Board Supreme Court decision, the Prayer Pilgrimage, and other peaceful demonstrations all resulted in the march.

Brotherhood Cannot Be a Theory

This newspaper clipping of The Southern Israelite features segments on the Atlanta banquet honoring Dr. King's acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. Given on his return to the States, there were twelve hundred and fifty Atlanta citizens in attendance. Included articles are: welcoming comments by Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, a tribute by Archbishop Paul Hallinan, and a transcription of Dr. King's speech.

Call to Action in Race Relations

J. Oscar Lee and S. Garry Oniki draft a memorandum to outline the purpose, function and program emphases for the General Committee for the Department of Racial and Cultural Relations sponsored by the National Council of Churches.

Current Magazine

This Current Magazine issue on racism in the U.S. features an article "Is Direct Action Necessary" by Dr. King, as well as pieces by James Meredith, James Reston, and others.

Declaration of Independence by MLK

Dr. King writes an article making reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln, and the historical impact they both have had on the economy and what is described to be a social revolution. It is noted that this article is intended for a December, 1962 issue of a publication.

Delegation of 11 from Local 237 Walk in Mourning March

This article explains the march that took place after Dr. King's assassination. Many people took part in the mourning march led by Coretta Scott King and Reverend Ralph Abernathy.

Discerning the Signs of History

Dr. King's sermon "Discerning the Signs of History" asserts "evil carries the seeds of its own destruction." King gives examples throughout history, such as slavery, colonialism, and the rise and fall of King Louis XVI.

Dr. King recounts civil rights struggle in Albany, Georgia

Dr. King recounts the civil rights struggle in Albany, Georgia. Every element of the community participated in mass demonstrations protesting discrimination in public spaces, school segregation, denial of voting rights, and the deprivation of freedom of speech and assembly. King explains the purpose and use of nonviolent methodologies as "resistance to injustice and non-cooperation with evil." He describes several examples of direct action and the building of political strength.

Draft Introduction for "Why We Can't Wait"

This document is a draft of the introduction for Dr. King's book, "Why We Can't Wait." Dr. King uses various African American children stories to explain that one cannot afford to wait for justice.

Emancipation Proclamation Dinner Program

Dr. King speaks at a dinner engagement honoring the centennial anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation.

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.

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."

I HAVE A DREAM

Text of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech delivered August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D. C.

I Have A Dream

Dr. King delivered the "I Have A Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. Along with Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address," it is considered to be one of the greatest speeches of all time.

I've Been To The Mountaintop

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

Interview Outline for WAII-TV Show-Profile Emory University Atlanta, Georgia

This document outlines Dr. Edward T. Ladd's interview with Dr. King, for broadcast on WAII-TV's program "Profile Emory University."

Letter from Anderson Davis to MLK

Mr. Davis invites Dr. King to speak at West Virginia's Emancipation Proclamation centennial celebration. Mr. Davis informs Dr. King that the event is an opportunity to collect contributions for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Letter from Don Hill to MLK

Don Hill requests a written statement about the Emancipation Proclamation from Dr. King for inclusion in the souvenir program for the Michigan Prince Hall Grand Lodge's annual meeting. The program will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. Hill also requests a picture to include in the program.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Robert Goldwin

Dora McDonald informs Dr. Robert A. Goldwin the four essays on "100 Years of Emancipation" have been received and placed on Dr. King's desk for him to read upon his return from out of town.

Letter from Governor John Reynolds to MLK

Governor Reynolds requests Dr. King to speak at a Conference on Civil Rights in celebration of the centennial year of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Letter from Mary Bull to MLK

Mary Bull writes Dr. King expressing her sentiments towards the concept of racial separatism, and how it causes detriment to the Civil Rights Movement.

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