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United States Supreme Court

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Racism in the United States

Dr. King discusses the issues of racism, Jim Crow and nonviolence in this edition of Current. He further explains that, without the tactic of nonviolence, Negroes can become hostile and bitter. Throughout this issue several other writers are featured including Leslie W. Dunbar, Langston Hughes and Fay Bennett.

Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution

Dr. King delivers the commencement address at Oberlin College in Ohio on June 14, 1965. Nothing is more tragic, he says, than sleeping through a significant period of social change by failing to adopt the new mental attitudes that the new situation demands. He suggests that to remain awake through a great revolution one must embrace a global perspective and work for peace, racial justice, economic justice and brotherhood throughout the world.

Remarks by MLK at the Freedom House Annual Dinner

Dr. King expresses his appreciation for being honored by Freedom House. He also pays tribute to the life and work of John F. Kennedy while encourging others to honor his memory through their dedication to civil rights.

Remarks by MLK in Acceptance of the Spingarn Medal

In his acceptance speech for the Spingarn Medal, Dr. King remarks about the need for continuing the fight for social justice and equality around the world. He acknowledges the work of NAACP along with protesters as they continue to be on the frontline in addressing the nation's social ills.

Resolutions of Institute on Non-Violent Resistance to Segregation

This document contains SCLC resolutions of July 22-24, 1959, regarding nonviolence. The resolutions include: commending the 50th Anniversary Convention of the NAACP, thanking the staff of Spelman College, and calling upon organizations to "initiate plans against forms of racial discrimination."

Robert Greene's Resolutions

Robert Greene, of Puerto Rican and African American ancestry, resolves to censure the State of New York. He lists a plethora of racist activities and "Orwellian deceptions" as causes.

SCEF Policy Statement

This is a policy statement on current civil rights and civil liberties issues presented by the Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc. The organization is an educational agency with the purpose of eradicating discrimination among the nation's citizens. This document contains a list of advocacies and condemnations as it relates to federal legislature in favor of civil rights support.

School Desegregation 10 Years Later

Dr. King says that there have been few strides made in school desegregation. He says that schools that comply with the desegregation laws do it at an appalling slow pace. Lastly, he says that although there needs to be more progress in both the north and the south, he has hope for the future.

School Desegregation 10 Years Later

This statement was released by Dr. King ten years after the Supreme Court's decision, Brown versus Board of Education, which made segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The Reverend states, "The naive might believe great strides have been made in school desegregation over the past decade, but this is not at all true."

SCLC Brochure: This is SCLC

SCLC outlines its history, achievements, initiatives and leadership in this brochure.

SCLC Duties

This document outlines general responsibilities and specific duties of SCLC officers. Top level members listed include Dr. King, President, Wyatt Tee Walker, Executive Assistant to President, Andrew Young, Program Director, Mrs. Dorothy F. Cotton, Office Manager and Educational Consultant, and Ralph Abernathy, Financial Secretary-Treasurer. The document states that Dr. King's general responsibility as President is to "coordinate and interpret the total program of SCLC."

SCLC News Release

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference issues a new release stating Dr. King's demands that the Department of Justice act immediately to halt brutal treatment and intimidation of Negro school children and parents in the State of Mississippi. Dr. King cites several violent and near violent incidents that have occurred in Mississippi during the month of October.

SCLC Newsletter: January-February 1966

This early 1966 SCLC Newsletter reports the organization's recent activity. Main columns focus on Hosea Williams' voter registration work in Birmingham, Alabama and efforts towards slum eradication in Chicago and Atlanta. The document also includes photographic content of Dr. King's public speaking endeavors and evidence of the slum crisis. Consistent school inequities and segregation are the last topics discussed.

SCLC Newsletter: March 1964

The March, 1964 SCLC newsletter reports many news items, including a voter registration drive in Alabama, the results of several legal cases, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an article criticizing Judge Durwood T. Pye and the use of interracial primers in Detroit's public schools.

SCLC Newsletter: November-December 1963

Dr. King writes about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and how it affected the citizens of the United States. King asserts that Kennedy handled international and national issues "with a depth of concern, a breadth of intelligence, and a keen sense of history." Dr. King says that while the question of who killed Kennedy is important, one should ask "what killed him" instead.

SCLC Voter Registration Program

The SCLC issues a plan of action to inspire communities in the South to sponsor a year-round voter registration program. The document also includes facts regarding the organization's history and purpose, as well as detailed instructions for conducting an effective voter-registration campaign.

Senator Edward Kennedy's Address to SCLC

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) addresses the 1966 SCLC Annual Convention, stating that the sit-ins, freedom rides and Montgomery bus boycott created a movement that brought about the most important change of the last 20 years. He says that while the caste system in politics is over, the life of the average Negro hasn’t changed much. Society is becoming divided rich and poor, black and white, and a massive commitment of national resources must be made to upgrade Negro life in America.

Seventh Annual Gandhi Memorial Lecture

Howard University presents Dr. King as its primary speaker for their seventh annual Gandhi Memorial Lecture in 1966. Dr. King traces the slow but meaningful progress society has made from slavery to the current civil rights movement. However, he notes that the present challenges in achieving equality involve not only the silence of individuals of good will but also the conditons that keep the Negro inferior.

Speech at Chicago Freedom Movement Rally

Dr. King speaks of the urgent need to address issues in the city such as deplorable housing conditions, discrimination in employment, segregation and overcrowded schools. He urges his listeners to commit to fill up the jails if necessary, register every eligible Negro to vote, withhold rent from slumlords, withdraw economic support from companies that don't hire Negroes, and support Negro-owned businesses. He stresses the importance of using nonviolent methods.

Speech to National Press Club

Dr. King answers a number of questions from the National Press Club.

Speech to the Freedom Riders

King delivered this speech, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1961, at a rally to support the Freedom Riders. King encourages them to maintain postures and attitudes of non-violence in the face of violent responses to their actions and resistance. He assures them that while they will experience a "season of suffering," the moral rightness of their cause will prevail.

Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam

This letter informs fellow members of the Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam of the successes of their organization and serves as a call to action on the upcoming steps.

State of New York Civil Rights Bureau - 1967 Annual Report

This is the overview of the advancements and achievements affiliated with the New York Civil Rights Bureau, in 1967.

Statement Before the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee

Dr. King addresses the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee. He calls for strong federal action in the South to prevent violence and to uphold the decisions of the Supreme Court pertaining to the end of segregation.

Statement Before the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee

Dr. King addresses the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee on the issues of civil rights, segregation, and voters registration. He urges the party to join the crusade for social justice and equality for all.

Statement by MLK

Dr. King discusses the backlash received during the protests and demonstrations for civil rights. He asserts that nonviolence is the most successful weapon, and that in order to participate the individual must be bold, brave, and disciplined.

Statement by MLK Regarding His Five-Day Jail Sentence in Birmingham

Dr. King releases a statement regarding his return to Birmingham, Alabama to serve a five-day jail sentence. He states that he is happy to serve the sentence, but sad that the Supreme Court did not "uphold the rights of individual citizens." He also questions why the United States' resources are being used to fund the Vietnam War rather than to help the poor.

Statement by the President of the Montgomery Improvement Association

As the President of Montgomery Improvement Association, Dr. King elaborates on the past twelve months and the city's efforts to fight against racial injustice through the bus boycott. Their journey concluded victoriously with the acknowledgment of the Supreme Court that invalidated segregated transportation. Dr. King informs the Montgomery community that they are to "return to the buses" on a "non-segregated basis."

Statement on the Indictment of MLK

The "Committee to Defend Martin Luther King, Jr." issued this statement, accusing the state of Alabama of falsely distorting Dr. King's 1958 income tax return in an attempt to indict him.

Statement Regarding Fred L. Shuttlesworth's Court Appearances

This document explains Rev. Shuttlesworth upcoming court appearances as a result of his civil rights activities. He faces charges for blocking a sidewalk during a demonstration and for protesting at Drake Memorial Hospital.

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