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Direct Action

Direct action is the strategic use of nonviolent tactics and methods to bring an opponent or oppressive party into dialogue to resolve an unjust situation. It is used as a moral force to illustrate, document and counter injustices. Gene Sharp originally wrote of 198 methods but the number keeps growing. The techniques and tactics for direct action include rallies, letter-writing campaigns, vigils, petitions, fasts, walks and marches, civil disobedience and boycotts. In Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. King mentions four steps of nonviolent campaigns: fact-finding, negotiation, self-purification and direct action. These can be seen, for example, in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Freedom Rides.

Associated Archive Content : 142 results

Greetings Page-SCLC and ACMHR

The SCLC and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights come together to host SCLC's annual convention in Birmingham, Alabama.

How Urban League Helps City on Day-to-Day Basis

In this article, the council, activities, and contributions of the Urban League are discussed. Edwin C. Berry, the league's executive secretary, believes that contributions have decreased due to the league's refusal to take a stand against civil rights demonstrations. Mr. Berry is hopeful that contributors will return their support to make Chicago a "hallmark of democracy."

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.

Introduction to an Educational Program on Nonviolence

This document explains the purpose of an educational program on nonviolence. The document then goes into specific details on the curriculum taught in the workshops for nonviolence.

Is Nonviolence Doomed To Fail?

Dr. King enumerates the accomplishments made in the fight for civil rights through nonviolent practices. Additionally, he utilizes this article in the Associated Negro Press to discredit the claim that nonviolence is losing shape in the United States.

Join the Ranks! Support A Worker

An SCLC field worker writes to gain support for the SCLC so that the organization can fulfill its mission to help blacks "achieve full citizenship rights, stimulate nonviolent mass action, and secure the right to vote."

Letter from Barbara W. Moffett to William Rutherford

Barbara Moffett discusses the possibility of coordinating efforts and collaborative participation between the American Friends Service Committee and SCLC.

Letter from Charles Sellers to MLK

Charles Sellers, a Professor of History at the University of California at Berkeley, writes this letter to Dr. King promoting the Washington Convocation On The National Crisis. He encloses the proposal that he and Cecil Thomas discussed with Mrs. King over the phone. The proposal details the organized effort to marshal public sentiment against current US policy in Vietnam. Five hundred prominent Americans will be invited to the convocation, to be held in Washington, DC.

Letter from Coretta Scott King to Francis Robinson

Mrs. King expresses her appreciation for the opera tickets that Mr. Robinson gave to her and Dr. King.

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 Grenville Clark to Dr. King Regarding the N.A.A.C.P Legal Defense Fund

In this letter, Grenville Clark provides details about his involvement with the N.A.A.C.P Legal Defense Fund, which he believes the kind of work it is doing must be constantly supplemented by the mass non-violence direct action.

Letter from James H. Bowman to Rev. Andrew J. Young

James H. Bowman writes to Rev. Young requesting for Mr. Ralph Henry to be stationed by SCLC on the near west side of Chicago.

Letter from Larry N. Boyd to MLK

Larry N. Boyd, President of The United Piedmont Society, writes Dr. King expressing support for the SCLC's fight to achieve human rights for the Negroes throughout the South.

Letter from Martin Gal to MLK

Martin Gal, Producer in Public Affairs at WMSB TV, requests permission rights to Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" for broadcasting purposes. Gal seeks to create a short pictorial documentary with Dr. King reading the text as a voice-over.

Letter from MLK to Aileen B. Armstrong

Dr. King thanks Mrs. Armstrong for her letter and contribution. He explains the difference her donation will make in the SCLC's efforts to integrate "the Negro into all aspects of American life."

Letter from MLK to Al Capp

Dr. King writes Al Capp, formally known as the Cartoonist Alfred Gerald Caplin, acknowledging his previous correspondence. King asserts that his organization deplores violence regardless of race and hopes that Caplin's "current hostility will be overcome, and that he will exercise a deep concern for the welfare of all people of this country."

Letter from MLK to Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Dr. King thanks Mr. T. W. Cole and the members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for supporting the SCLC financially and morally. Dr. King is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Letter from MLK to Bernard Goldstein

Dr. King thanks Mrs. Bernard Goldstein for her contribution to the SCLC. Dr. King explains the importance of her contribution and how it helps in their fight for equality.

Letter from MLK to Charles V. Arthur

Dr. King writes Mr. Arthur to thank the staff of Kitsilano Secondary School for their contribution to the SCLC.

Letter from MLK to Clara Graves

Dr. King responds to Clara Bell Graves thanking her for the encouraging letter. Dr. King states, "please be assured that we welcome with grateful heart such letters as the one you directed to me."

Letter from MLK to David Dubinsky of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union

Dr. King thanks David Dubinsky of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union for their thoughtful donation to SCLC. The contribution will be used to assist the SCLC in voter registration, direct action and other methods to combat racial injustice.

Letter from MLK to Dr. James C. Gray

Dr. King thanks Dr. James Gray for his generous contribution to the SCLC and states, "Without your dollars for freedom, the Conference would be unable to work effectively."

Letter from MLK to Joe C. Sullivan Jr.

Dr. King thanks Joe Sullivan for his previous correspondence supporting the civil rights movement and the implementation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Dr. King expresses how he will use nonviolence against those who believe in segregation.

Letter from MLK to L. LeVard Colbert

Dr. King thanks L. LeVard Colbert for his contribution to SCLC. Dr. King states that his donation will be utilized to assist with voter registration and ending segregation in the South.

Letter from MLK to Laura Graves

Dr. King thanks Laura Graves for her recent letter which presented suggestions and advice regarding the prejudice in the American community. King states, "with persons of good will increasingly speaking on behalf of racial injustice, the day will arrive more quickly."

Letter from MLK to Mr. and Mrs. Leon Margolis

Dr. King addresses a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Margolis to thank them for their son Jonathan's donation of one week's allowance to the SCLC. He explains what this and other donations enable the SCLC to accomplish.

Letter from MLK to Mr. G. H. Bishop

Dr. King expresses his gratitude for Mr. G. H. Bishop's financial contribution to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Letter from MLK to Professor William Goldsmith

Dr. King sends his appreciation to Professor William Goldsmith for the contribution made by the students and faculty of Brandeis University to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Letter from MLK to Rev. Richard T. Andrews, Jr.

Dr. King express thanks for the Mt. Zion Congregational Church's contribution to the SCLC. Dr. King details and outlines how their financial assistance will further foster the improvement of the racial issues in the South. The SCLC would be "caught in a dungeon of despair" if they did not have any moral support from various individuals and organizations.

Letter from MLK to Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy

Dr. King offers his gratitude to Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy of the New Bethel Baptist Church in Washington D.C. for a monetary contribution. Dr. King also explains how the money will help the SCLC work towards racial unity.

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