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White Citizens Council

The White Citizens’ Council was begun in Mississippi in 1954 following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregated schools were unconstitutional. The Council was a white resistance campaign against school integration and other efforts for black advancement. Unlike the Ku Klux Klan, the Council was open rather than secret and maintained that it was against violence. It pursued racist economic and political avenues to undermine black progress. The Council publicized the names of blacks working for change so that they would lose their jobs, credit ratings and income. To oppose school integration, the Council established private white academies. Although the Council spread across the South, by the late 1960s they went into decline.

Associated Archive Content : 38 results

"The Drum Major Instinct" Ebenezer Baptist Church

The Drum Major Instinct, a sermon delivered by Dr. King at the Atlanta Ebenezer Baptist Church, frames the “instinct” as being responsible for the social ills of the world. Dr. King proclaims that racial inequality in America and the war in Vietnam are the result of nations engaging in a “bitter colossal contest for supremacy.” He suggests that the only way to end this “suicidal thrust” is to abide by an altered definition of the instinct – the definition of Jesus Christ.

A Look To The Future

For the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Highlander Folk School, Dr. King delivers the speech "A Look To The Future." He uses a timeline to explain the adversities African Americans endured to gain recognition as American citizens. He also points out the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Councils to make African Americans second class citizens. Lastly, Dr. King points out that America should be more maladjusted in order to avoid failing to cope with the demands of the normal social environment.

A Look to the Future

Dr. King addresses the Highlander Folk School during the organization's twenty-fifth anniversary. He discusses the many accomplishments and hurdles of the Civil Rights Movement.

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.

Democratic National Convention Platform Committee Statement

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.

Desegregation and the Future

This document contains the first eight pages of Dr. King's address at the annual luncheon of the National Committee for Rural Schools at New York's Commodore Hotel in 1956. In it, he condemns segregation as an evil which has been allowed to exist in American life for too many decades. Dr. King points out that many states now stand in opposition to desegregation, and the federal government and the Supreme Court must now face how to make this new legislation a reality.

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.

Excerpts from The Negro and the American Dream

In this address to the Charlotte, North Carolina branch of the NAACP, Dr. King outlines five actions that Negroes must address in order to ensure their own first-class citizenship.

Fisk News: The Montgomery Story

This publication of Fisk News features one of Dr. King's speeches on page five. The speech is entitled "The Montgomery Story," and was delivered at the 13th Annual Institute of Race Relations at Fisk University. Dr. King commences to share of Rosa Parks' refusal to move from her bus seat and help begin the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott. Blacks boycotted public transportation for 7 months in Montgomery, Alabama and achieved success in changing the city's discriminatory practices.

Friends Journal: A Quaker Weekly

Dr. King's article, "Nonviolence and Racial Justice" is included in this edition of the Friends Journal. Dr. King's entry discusses the various implications of race relations in America and the beneficial elements of nonviolence.

House Un-American Activities Committee

This article summarizes the consequences that derive from the House Un-American Activities Committee labeling Civil Rights leaders as communists.

Letter from Birmingham Jail

In this copy printed in "The Christian Century," Dr. King writes his letter in response to several Alabama Clergymen who accuse him of being unwise and untimely. His accusers call him an extremist and an "outside agitator" who should not be in Alabama. Dr. King references several sources in his counter to their arguments.

Letter from James Dombrowski to Mrs. King

In this letter, James Dombrowski of the Southern Conference Educational Fund requests financial contributions from Mrs. Coretta S. King for a proposed publication to be entitled "The Color Line in Voting." The initial prototype publication would include the stories of Gus Courts and George W. Lee, who were assassinated, after refusing to remove their names from a voter registration list in Humphreys County, Mississippi.

Letter from Tommie Crockett to MLK

Tommie Crockett expresses his appreciation for the work of Dr. King. He explains that black people are getting tired of the nonviolence method and are beginning to embrace the term, "Black Power." He explains that blacks will no longer participate in peaceful civil rights demonstrations because, "we already done that."

Love and Forgiveness

This is a speech entitled "Love and Forgiveness" that Dr. King delivered at the American Baptist Convention meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Jesus Christ and segregation serve as the major topics for this speech. Dr. King makes the compelling statements that "Jesus decided to meet hate with love," and that "segregation is still the Negro's burden and America's shame."

Memorandum

This memorandum, sent to Dr. King, expresses the need for a convocation between Negro and white Southern leaders. Recent developments, such as peaceful integration of lunch counters and schools, show that whites are respecting equal rights of Negro citizens more.

MLK Address to a North Carolina Branch of the NAACP

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.

New Harassment: The Lunacy Test by MLK

Dr. King identifies events that demonstrate the absurd actions of the racist opposition during the Freedom Movement in the South.

New South: The Current Crisis In Race Relations

Dr. King, as President of the Montgomery Improvement Association, examines the race relations crisis. He discusses how segregation makes the Negro feel inferior and unaccepted. Dr. King also affirms that he will not accept a system of violence and the "evils of segregation."

News from SCEF Regarding Police Raids

As a result of a police raid on the offices of the SCEF and its officers, two of their top officers were arrested and their records and papers were seized. The White Citizens Council praised the Louisiana Joint Legislative Committee on Un-American Activities for instigating the raids, while numerous other committees strongly denounced the raids.

Non-Violent Procedures to Inter-Racial Harmony

Dr. King proclaims that race relations is a crisis that has existed for many years in America. As a result of unjust race relations, Negroes have embarked upon the current fight for equal rights.

Our Struggle

Dr. King discusses blacks' struggle for racial equality in America. King explores racist whites' views of "the inferior social, economic, and political position" of the Negro. However, when Negroes begin to reevaluate their position in society and tension in race relations arise, he argues that the Negro begins to "organize and act" against the status quo as evident in the boycotts and sit-in demonstrations occurring throughout the South.

Our Struggle

Dr. King drafts this speech entitled "Our Struggle" for the April 1956 publication of Liberation. Dr. King discusses how both whites and blacks have internalized a caste system that perpetuates Negroes as inferior beings. He speculates that racial peace is maintained in the caste system due to harsh discrimination and a loss of faith in the black community. Dr. King states that the shift in race relations, and subsequent tension, occurred when Negroes "began to re-evaluate themselves," finding self-respect and dignity.

Out of Segregation's Long Night

Dr. King addresses the crisis of race relations in America by asserting that there would not be a crisis if blacks accepted inferiority and injustice. He also discusses the physical and spiritual harm that segregation and slavery has caused for blacks and the effect that violence has on the community. Dr. King closes with remarks regarding nonviolence and what it truly represents.

Out of the Long Night of Segregation

In this article, "Out of the Long Night of Segregation", Dr. King discusses the result of Negroes waiting to be treated as equals to no avail. He also presents several actions that should take place to provoke change.

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.

Primer For Delegates to the Democratic National Convention

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party informs citizens of the mistreatment incurred by African Americans attempting to register to vote and participate in election process. The Party also outlines its journey to sending 64 delegates to the Democratic Convention of 1964 and how President Johnson denied them seats at the Convention.

Race Problems in Albany

In the midst of some very disturbing events taking place in Albany, GA, Edward P. Morgan of the American Broadcasting Company writes this captivating broadcast message reflecting his personal view of the Negro's increasing self-awareness and recognition of its place in society.

Terror in Louisiana

The article describes the terrorist actions occurring within the area of north Louisiana. An African American dentist by the name of C.O. Simpkins was one of the victims targeted due to his activism in Civil Rights. Due to Simpkins large presence within the movement, his house was bombed and burned down. This is just one example of the constant hatred and violence many African Americans had to go through to gain equality within the South.

The Christian Way of Life in Human Relations

Dr. King makes a speech to the National Council of Churches regarding the issue of American race relations. After school integration ... has noticed a radical change in the attitudes of African-Americans, ultimately giving birth to this mental and figurative notion of the "new Negro". He solicits the assistance and leadership of the nation's churches to take a firm stand against the rampant inequalities afflicting blacks are facing in America.

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