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Segregation - Law and Legislation

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Letter from Wallace Best to MLK

Wallace Best encloses a donation to the SCLC but advises against purusing economic boycotts. According to Best, an economic boycott will "greatly demean the conduct of your noble cause....."

Letter from William W. Boyer to MLK

This Letter from William W. Boyer, Chairman of the Convocations Committee, to Dr. King informs Dr. King the transcription of his "Future of Integration" speech to the Kansas State University academic community has arrived. A copy of the transcription will be published in Issues 1968.
This enclosed transcription of his speech addresses many varied issues affecting American society.

Liberation: Our Struggle

Dr. King contributes an article to the "Liberation" publication explaining the reasons for the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. He conveys the issues involving segregation on buses, the demise of Negro inferiority and the miscalculations of white Montgomery civic leaders. According to Dr. King, "Every attempt to end the protest by intimidation, by encouraging Negroes to inform, by force and violence, further cemented the Negro community and brought sympathy for our cause from men of good will all over the world."

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."

Love in Action

Dr. King expounds on the love of God by referencing a verse from the Bible in the Book of Luke. The verse states, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Dr. King notes the truth of this verse is also revealed in race relation of today.

Manifesto of the Meredith Mississippi March

Dr. King, Stokely Carmichael, and Floyd McKissick sign the Manifesto of the Meredith Mississippi March, which represents a "public indictment and protest of the failure of American society." In solidarity, they demand courses of actions to deal with voting fraud, strengthened civil rights legislation, and impartial application of the law.

March on Washington Address by Eugene Carson Blake

Rev Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, Vice Chairman of the Commission on Religion and Race of the National Council of Churches, addresses the March on Washington. He states that if all the clergy and church members he represents and all of the Roman Catholics and Jews in America were marching for jobs and freedom for Negroes, the battle for civil rights would be won. Despite the pronouncements of the religious community, the churches and society are still segregated. “Late, late we come,” he says, and in a repentant and reconciling spirit.

May 17 -- 11 Years Later

Dr. King discusses the eleven years since the Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were not constitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. He explains that it was not until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that people began to understand the harms of segregation.

Memo from Harry Boyte to MLK

Mr. Boyte asks Dr. King to review the document "ACTION FOR DEMOCRACY." He also attaches two tables for his review.

MKL At Zoin Hill - "The Ballot"

This transcript of a passionate, poetic, and inspiring speech touches on many of King's motifs. It starts with an appeal for voting rights, addresses the despair the audience feels from time to time, and ends with a refrain of "we shall overcome."

MLK - Justice Without Violence

Dr. King gave this 1957 address to the Institute of Adult Education at Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts.

MLK - Out of the Night of Segregation

This essay by Dr. King is featured in the February 1958 edition of Lutheran Woman's Work. King focuses on nonviolence and segregation while critiquing the sociological impacts of oppression.

MLK Address - The Association of The Bar of the City of New York

Dr. King gives an address to the Association of The Bar of the City of New York at the Hilton Hotel in New York. He praises lawyers for using their knowledge to aid the Civil Rights Movement. He states that Negro lawyers bring wisdom and a determination to win to the courtroom. Dr. King also defines an unjust law as a law that is "out of harmony with moral law of the universe."

MLK Address at Mass Meeting in Eutaw, Alabama

Dr. King challenges the Negro residents of Eutaw, Alabama to participate in the upcoming SCLC Poor People's Campaign. In this address, he urges the citizens of Eutaw to occupy Washington, D.C. in an effort to press Congress for a redistribution of wealth in America. He urges, "All ye who are tired of segregation and discrimination, come unto us. All ye who are overworked and underpaid, come unto us."

MLK Address at NAACP 53rd Convention

Dr. King delivered this address to the NAACP's 53rd Annual Convention held in Morehouse College's gymnasium in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King argues that it is imperative to debunk the perceived myths concerning segregation and discrimination in order to foster a society free of racial inequalities.

MLK Address at the 53rd National Convention of the NAACP

This document is Dr. King's address to the 53rd Annual Convention of the NAACP in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King discusses the following myths in this address: time will solve all problems, education can only solve problems of racial conflict, the Negro vote can do little to alter present conditions, and the practice of nonviolence is ineffective. Dr. King also speaks on "disunity," and states "the law may not make a man love me, but it may keep him from lynching me."

MLK Address at the National Biennial Convention

Dr. King delivers this speech at the National Biennial Convention of the American Jewish Congress. The convention took place May 1, 1958 in Miami Beach, Florida. Dr. King discusses how the Jewish and Negro communities are unified by the escape of bondage. They share a common fight against the deadly enemies of oppression. He continues on to discuss the things that need to be done in order for African Americans to reach great potential along with the importance of fighting for and obtaining democracy.

MLK Address Regarding the Negro Family

In this address, Dr. King discusses the struggles of the Negro family. He states that the Negro family's life determines the individuals' capacity to love. Dr. King also discusses how American slavery has impacted the Negro family.

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.

MLK Address to District 65 of the AFL-CIO

Dr. King addresses District 65 of the AFL-CIO in Monticello, New York. He begins by expressing his appreciation to the AFL-CIO for their generous contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. He discusses the impact of the Albany Movement and segregation in the South. Dr. King makes the point that America refers to itself as a world leader, yet we are significantly behind other countries in social and welfare legislation.

MLK Address to Southern Association of Political Scientists

Dr. King addresses the Southern Association of Political Scientists in November of 1964. This address consists of the accomplishments made because of the Civil Rights Movement and areas that society needs to improve upon.

MLK Address to the Tenth Anniversary Convention of the SCLC

Dr. King, at the Tenth Anniversary Convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses numerous civil rights issues the organization is addressing throughout America.

MLK Addresses the District 65 AFL-CIO

This is an address given by Dr. King to District 65 of the National AFL-CIO Convention in Miami, Beach. Dr. King recognizes their contribution to the Southern Christen Leadership Conference.

MLK Addresses the National Association of the Bar

Dr. King seeks to gain support from legal practitioners by comparing the fight for legal rights of African Americans to the earlier fight for independence in which America took a stand against the forces of England.

MLK Announces End of Montgomery Bus Boycott

Dr. King, as President of the Montgomery Improvement Association, issued this statement following the US Supreme Court’s decision declaring laws requiring segregation on busses unconstitutional. He announces that the year-long bus boycott is officially over and urges Negroes to return to the buses the next morning on a non-segregated basis. Negroes need to adopt a spirit of understanding toward their white brothers, he says. It is time to move from protest to reconciliation.

MLK Announces The Jail Sentences Stemming from the 1963 Birmingham Demonstrations

Dr. King makes this statement regarding the arrest of himself and other leaders of the 1963 Birmingham struggle. The Supreme Court in 1967 ruled that these leaders unjustly broke the city wide injunction banning demonstrations. Dr. King urges the nation, "Take heed. Do not allow the Bill of Rights to become a prisoner of war."

MLK Draft on Jackie Robinson and Hall of Fame

Dr. King highlights the achievements of Jackie Robinson in this article about Robinson's induction into baseball's Hall of Fame. Dr. King applauds Robinson for using his celebrity status for the Civil Rights Movement.

MLK Draft Text Retrieved by T.D. Johnston

The document is a dedication from T. D. Johnston of Huntsville, Alabama to the King Center. Mr. Johnston acknowledges being on an Eastern Airline plane with Dr. King in 1961, where he noticed that Dr. King tossed a speech text that he found. He decided to hold on to the document for preservation and donated it to the King Center. Martin Luther King, III received the document on behalf of the King Center.

MLK in Memoriam

Following Dr. King's assassination, this tribute highlights King's life and the impact he had on the world. It includes a reading from "The Negro American: A Documentary History," an audio recording of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech" and his eulogy. test2

MLK Memorandum on SCLC Direct Action Plans

In this confidential memorandum, Dr. King outlines SCLC’s direct action program for Birmingham, Alabama and Danville, Virginia. For each community, he states the challenges, defines goals, and then provides detailed steps to be taken and also staff assignments. He promises to outline his plan for Montgomery, Alabama in a few days.

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