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Afro-Americans - Social Conditions

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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.

Diary in Jail

Dr. King wrote a personal diary of his day-to-day experiences while in an Albany, Georgia jail for attempting to pray in front of City Hall. He pledged to return to jail, if necessary, if the City Commission refused to negotiate with Negro leaders on demands for immediate desegregation of all public facilities.

Document and Material on the Child Development Group of Mississippi

This series of documents and materials on the Child Development Group of Mississippi contains multiple sections. Section One contains six letters, one telegram and one newspaper article praising the efforts of the CDGM and its staff.

Draft of SCLC 1964 Annual Report

This is a draft of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 1964 Annual Report. The document outlines developments that occurred in pursuits such as voter registration and Operation Breadbasket. The piece concludes with commentary on the future of the organization, specifically "deeper involvement in political action."

Draft of SCLC 1964 Annual Report

This is a draft of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 1964 Annual Report. Some of the topics discussed include the role of the SCLC, Operation Breadbasket and a voting bill.

Economic and Social Bill of Rights

The SCLC calls for an economic and social bill of rights to demand the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for African Americans. It would include the right of every employable citizen to a decent job, the right of every citizen to a minimum income, the right to a decent house in a neighborhood of choice, the right to an adequate education, the right to health care, and the right to full participation in decision-making.

Editorial- "Lawlessness Means Bloodshed, End of Dreams"

In this article, light heavy-weight boxing champion Archie Moore discourages black Americans from resorting to "lawlessness" in their attempts to advance the cause of civil rights.

Eulogy for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Victims

This is Dr. King?s eulogy for three of the four young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. God gives man the right to exercise good and evil, King says, but God wills that everything will happen for the good ? that out of tragedy comes redemption. Martyred in the struggle for freedom, the girls have become symbols of the crusade and of the faith that sustains it. King speaks of forgiving those who murdered the girls and the need to transform the system, the way of life, and the philosophy that led to the bombing.

Event Program for Chester Robinson Tribute

Speaking invitation to Dr. King for a tribute to Chester Robinson and the West Side Organization at the First Congregational Church in Chicago.

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.

Fifty-five Facts about Morehouse

This pamphlet discusses fifty-five important facts about Morehouse College and its distinguished alumni.

How Much Head Start for Mississippi's Children?

Kay Longcope describes the current status of the Child Development Group of Mississippi following the decision to pull funding for the program made by the Office of Economic Opportunity.

I've Been to the Mountaintop

Dr. King gave this address at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee the night before he was assassinated. He called for nonviolent protest and a boycott of Memphis area businesses in support of the Memphis Sanitation Workers strike. Conveying a sense of foreboding, he not only recounted a near-death experience when he was stabbed near the heart, but also spoke of the possibility of his own demise at the hands of those who opposed him.

I've Been To The Mountaintop

"I've Been to the Mountaintop" is the last speech Dr. King delivered. A day after making this address at the Masonic Temple in Memphis, Tennessee, he was assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room. Dr. King spoke of faith, nonviolent protest and his support of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike. He urged both a march and a boycott against Memphis area businesses. Dr. King ended his speech by musing about his previous brush with death and other threats against him.

Injunction from the City of Birmingham

Several members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, including Dr. King, receive a temporary injunction from the City of Birmingham.

JFK's Executive Order In Housing

This document is a draft of an article, written by Dr. King, to be placed in the Amsterdam Newspaper. Dr. King breaks down the housing order signed into law by President Kennedy. He makes clear that housing discrimination is a large hurdle to ending segregation.

Jo Marks writes Harry Belafonte Regarding Civil Rights Help

Jo Marks writes Mr. Harry Belafonte a lengthy letter about the civil rights situation in Houston and to request that he perform at the Astrodome.

Joint Statement on Violence in the Cities

Dr. King, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young Jr., and Roy Wilkins issue a joint statement urging Negro Americans in cities such as Newark and Detroit to end the public disorder and rioting. The civil rights leaders emphasize the potential damage the urban riots pose to "the Negro population, to the civil rights cause, and to the entire nation."

Letter from "A Southerner" to MLK

This letter, signed by, "A Southerner", suggests that Dr. King persuade Black people to return to Africa.

Letter from A.M. Davis to Mr. James Parham Regarding Emory Case

A. M. Davis, President of the NAACP's Atlanta Branch, wrote this letter as part of an Atlanta Medical Association complaint against Emory University.

Letter from Alfonzo Henderson to Afro-Americans

This letter from ARIDO (Afro-American Resource Industrial Development Organization) president Alfonzo Henderson outlines the organization's program goals.

Letter from Ann Lincoln to MLK

The writer, who identifies herself as a "collateral descendent of Abraham Lincoln," relates a story involving a young colored girl to Dr. King. Ms. Lincoln explains that the incident disturbed her greatly and she feels it is time to educate Negros on white acceptance.

Letter from Arthur Spence to MLK

Spence writes Dr. King defending the critical perceptions that some whites hold of blacks. As an African American, Spence feels that some members of his race have developed bad habits.

Letter from Doris Everett to MLK

Ms. Everett expresses appreciation to Dr. King for leading a successful boycott in Montgomery, Alabama and for his contributions to help Negros obtain equality.

Letter from Doug Dodge to MLK

Mr. Doug Dodge writes Dr. King to request his help in identifying an appropriate role in the Civil Rights Movement for a young white male who is seeking to get involved.

Letter from Edward Thacker to MLK

Edward Thacker, former State Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for Arkansas, expresses his disagreement with Dr. King's views on the Vietnam War. Thacker also contends that the eradication of poverty is an unrealistic goal.

Letter from Edward Wright to MLK

Edward Wright, a member of the Black Panther Party, request Dr. King helps his leader, Huey P. Newton. Newton was wrongfully charged with murder of an Oakland city policeman during the fight for freedom.

Letter from Finley Drewery to NAACP

Finley Drewery writes to the NAACP seeking aid for his upcoming criminal trial. He asserts that the state has no hard evidence against him and that his court appointed attorney is trying to make him pay $3,000 to mount a defense in court.

Letter from George Y. Sodowick to MLK

George Sodowick expresses to Dr. King disapproval of the planned Poor Peoples Campaign of 1968. Sodowick suggests that, instead of occupying Washington, the demonstrators should settle in and enhance "riot torn cities."

Letter From Henry Springs Jr. to MLK

Mr. Henry Springs requests Dr.King's help in creating "Action Programs," that would be beneficial to the African-American community in Lake County, Illinois.

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