Themes

The Archive

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Jesus

Dr. King outlines some thoughts on the effect Jesus' life had on his followers.

Suffering

Dr. King records J. S. Mill’s view of suffering.

Letter from Rev. A. A. Ackerman to MLK

Saturday, January 27, 1962

Reverend A. A. Ackerman, Pastor of Bethel AME Church, writes Dr. King in hopes that he can make an appearance and speak at his church.

Letter from Ruth E. Foster to MLK

Monday, March 11, 1968

Mrs. Foster writes Dr. King expressing doubt in his nonviolent methods. She feels his nonviolent marches are an ineffective way to gain equality for Negroes.

Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Friday, December 11, 1964

On December 11, 1964, Dr. King delivered his Nobel lecture at the University of Oslo. Aware of the prestigious nature of the award and the global recognition for the nonviolent struggle to eradicate racial injustice in the U.S., King worked nearly a month on this address. He went far beyond his dream for America and articulated his vision of a World House in which a family of different races, religions, ideas, cultures and interests must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools. For citations, go to Dr. King's lecture at nobleprize.org.

Telegram from Josephine Jones to MLK

Ms. Jones, President of the Metropolitan Community Leaders, writes to Dr. King about Albert Shanker's stance on African American education.

Jesus

Dr. King compares Iago's description of Shakespeare's Othello to the view many have of Jesus.

Letter from David Ben-Gurion to MLK

Friday, January 20, 1967

Mr. Ben-Gurion, founder and first prime minister of Israel, congratulates Dr. King on his decision to lead a mass pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan. He also informs King that he is planning a trip to the US and looks forward to the opportunity of meeting in person. The pilgrimage, scheduled for November 1967, did not take place because of the Six Day Arab-Israeli War that June.

Letter from Frank Schiffman to MLK

Monday, August 9, 1965

Frank Schiffman of the Apollo Theatre in New York, New York, sends Dr. King a large check to start the "Dr. Martin Luther King Freedom Fleet."

Letter from Vilna Torres to Mrs. Coretta Scott King

Friday, April 5, 1968

Vilna Torres writes a letter of condolence to Mrs. King after Dr. King's assassination.

Scientific Method (Wieman)

Dr. King quotes Henry Nelson Wieman's "Religious Experience and Scientific Method." He used this quote in his doctoral dissertation, "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman."

Statement on Nobel and Catholic Interracial Council Awards

Saturday, October 17, 1964

John A. McDermott, Executive Director of the Catholic Interracial Council, lauds Dr. King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize and announces that the Council is awarding King its John F. Kennedy Award.

Crisis and The Church

Dr. King emphasizes the important role of the Church in the midst of a global political and social shift. He explores in detail the steps necessary to implement changes through the Church and its' constituents.

Letter from Imogene Cashmore to President Johnson

Wednesday, August 16, 1967

Imogene Cashmore responds to Senator Dodd's recent statement in Congress about Moise Tshombe, a Congo politician who had recently been jailed on charges of treason. Cashmore condemns Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy for not trying to help Tshombe, questioning why there has been no negative response to the current government of Congo, which Cashmore charges is rampant with "mass murder and violation of civil rights."

Letter from Dora McDonald to Marshall E. Bean

Thursday, July 8, 1965

Dora McDonald communicates to Marshall E. Bean that Dr. King is remembering him in his prayers and sends a photograph as a visual reminder. Miss McDonald also includes a scripture from the Book of Psalms.

Letter from Josephine Baker to MLK

Saturday, August 31, 1963

Josephine Baker expresses her admiration for Dr. King as a great leader and articulates her commitment to the Civil Rights Movement.

Financial Report of the SCLC

Monday, July 25, 1966

This document outlines the financial statements of the Atlanta home office of the SCLC. The figures are from July 25, 1966 through July 28, 1966.

Letter from Daniel F. Byrne to MLK

Wednesday, September 14, 1966

Lieutenant Colonel Daniel F. Byrne, an army chaplain from the 24th Infantry Division, requests a copy of the address Dr. King gave to the World Conference of Churches in Switzerland.

Letter from Sue M. Stiles to MLK

Sunday, May 24, 1964

Sue Stiles writes Dr. King to assert her viewpoints and beliefs according to her childhood and upbringing. In expressing these truths, Stiles affirms her support in Dr. King's practices in human rights and encloses a financial contribution.

Letter Regarding the Emergency Convocation of the Urban Coalition

A letter drafted by Andrew Heiskell and A. Philip Randolph, co-Chairmen of the Urban Coalition. includes article clippings from various newspapers discussing the dire need for public service employment, private employment, educational disparities, reconstruction and urban development, and equal housing opportunities.

Letter from Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker to the Honorable Harold E. Stassen

Thursday, May 7, 1964

Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker requests that the Honorable Harold E. Stassen, of the American Baptist Convention, contribute a commentary on Dr. King's book "Why We Can't Wait."

Southern Leaders Conference letter to Eisenhower

Friday, January 11, 1957

Ministers meeting at the Southern Negro Leaders Conference on Transportation and Non-Violent Integration co-signed this letter to Pres. Eisenhower.

Letter from Frances S. Smith to MLK

Friday, June 5, 1964

Frances Smith, Promotion Director for the Christian journal "Christianity and Crisis," asks Dr. King to write a few sentences regarding the "need for continuing analysis of the civil rights movement from the Christian perspective."

World's Fair "Stall-In"

Dr. King comments on a civil rights demonstration scheduled to be held at the World Fair. This united act is aimed to address Negro civil concerns in relation to unified housing, education, and employment.

Letter from Abraham Lincoln High School to MLK

Wednesday, June 28, 1967

Earl Saunders, an art teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School, writes to Dr. King regarding awards of merit for Dr. King's contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King and Mr. Saunders are both alumni of Boston University's School of Theology.

God's Relation to the World

Dr. King outlines the sermon "God's Relation to the World." Dr. King breaks down the sermon into three themes: God's creation of the world, His conservation of the world, and His transformation of the world.

The Chicago Plan

Friday, January 7, 1966

Dr. King laments over Chicago becoming so much like the South that many African Americans moved north to get away from. Dr. King lays out reasons why African Americans suffer more in Chicago than any other northern city and provides directions to correct the problem.

Correspondence - Aftermath of Dr. King's Assassination, 4/5/68

Friday, April 5, 1968

This letter, originating from Chattanooga, TN on the day immediately following Dr. King's assassination, is a personal note of condolence and lament. In it the writer identifies Dr. King as "truly America's outstanding citizen of our time". The writer and addressee are unidentified.

Letter from Mrs. Bill Green to MLK

Monday, May 27, 1963

Mrs. Bill Green, an uneducated white woman, informs Dr. King on the spiriutal words she has recieved from God. Mrs. Green asserts that she recieved this insight after she envisioned the struggle Dr. king has endured. She lists four ideas surrounding the lack of collectivity amongst the races and the acknowledgment of the power of prayer.

Draft of Statement by MLK on his Involvement With the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Dr. King wishes to clarify his endorsement of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. He states that he did not mean to imply that there was a civil rights issue in the "collective bargaining election," but rather that he admires the accomplishments of the labor movement.