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Martin Luther King Jr. was not only a leader in the campaign to end segregation, but also a brilliant coordinator, working with national leaders from a variety of movements who were in solidarity with that struggle. The African-American community itself was complex and dynamic; within it there were leaders who represented a variety of perspectives and efforts directed towards justice, fairness and equality in the United States and around the world. This theme is intended to provide a selection of the documents that represent Dr. King’s engagement of intersecting social movements. It includes correspondence related to organized labor, black nationalism, pan-Africanism and peace organizations.
This article focuses on the Chicago Urban League's struggle to gain financial support from contributors. According to the organization's director Edwin C. Berry, former contributors failed to accept the fact that the goals and scope of the league would preclude the organization from becoming a "protest group."
Howard Schomer asks the US Attorney General several questions about the legality of a police raid that occurred at a Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) office in New Orleans, Louisiana. Schomer wants to know if the statute under which the raid was carried out has legal force and does the Department of Justice have an obligation to make its evidence public?
In this letter A. Philip Randolph asks Dr. King for contributions needed to carry out the work of the National Advisory Committee On Farm Labor (NACFL). Randolph states, "NACFL stretches its limited funds far, but now at this critical point we must ask for your support".
Dr. Abernathy recaps accomplishments of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for 1966. He states several objectives for the organization's efforts for 1967.
Here is a 1967 newsletter from the Atlanta Workshop in Nonviolence, covering a number of topics including the Vietnam War, the March on Washington, fascism, and non-violent tactical plans.
The author identifies several approaches to the notion of Black Power. The author concludes that Black Power is "a programmatic concept capable of objective definition", "it presents many difficulties", and that the negatives have outweighed the positives.
John A. McDermott, Executive Director of the Catholic Interracial Council, writes to Al Raby and Dr. King. Mr. McDermott describes the Council's involvement with the Chicago Freedom Movement. Mr. McDermott also expresses his appreciation for Mr. Raby and Dr. King's support in the fight for fair housing legislation in Chicago. McDermott goes on to describe the Movement struggle with the controversial Atomic Energy Commission project in Weston, Illinois.
The John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company is called to discuss racial discrimination. Ministers from Operation Breadbasket explain that they will commence an investigation to possibly eradicate the unequal employment practices of the company.
Dr. Harding gives a full detailed presentation on Black Power before the Southeastern Regional Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.
This memorandum sent to Dr. King by Professor St. Clair Drake, is a full proposal for the development/revival of the co-operative movements among negroes in large urban centers.
This document highlights information surrounding "Selma Friendship Day," which was a white-led counter-protest intended to offset the effects of Kingian boycotts. This counter-protest was met with a demonstration, in which 120 pro-Kingian persons were arrested and the local SCLC office was barricaded.
In an address to the NAACP, Vice President Richard Nixon discusses the reasons that progress has been made in the Eisenhower Administration and the goals that the organization needs to continue working toward.
Dr. King receives the Judaism and World Peace Award from the Synagogue Council of America and uses the occasion to speak about the Civil Rights Movement and international peace. He laments the vehement criticism of dissent and discussion of the Vietnam War and enumerates reasons why the Hebrew prophets are so needed today.
Mr. Armand writes Dr. King concerning the goals of The Haitian Community Center in New York City. The Center attempts to institute programming in order to alleviate the various difficulties of the Haitian community. Mr. Armand also invites Dr. King to speak at a distinguished event as an honorary guest.
Two professors of Columbia University, Dr. Jeanette Allen Behre and Chas. H. Behre Jr., express their dissent with Dr. King taking a public stand on the war in Vietnam. The professors feel Dr. King is jeopardizing his support for the civil rights.
Addressing Chicago slums, the focal point of Dr. King's Chicago crusade, the writer of the article calls for all tenants, regardless of race, creed or color, to assume some responsibility for the upkeep of their buildings instead of expecting Dr. King and the landlords of the buildings to solve the issue for them.
In this letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Russell inquires about the Federal Housing Administration's decision on the requirements of housing integration.
This summary of the SCLC's Ninth Annual Convention describes events that were instrumental in the formation of the organization. The document outlines the ongoing projects of the organization and offers proposals for future efforts.
Pastor Bill Lawson writes Dr. King seeking his help with spreading the Civil Rights Movement in Houston. He asks King to establish a permanent SCLC office in Houston and engage in nonviolent demonstrations.
O. P. Paliwal and Yves Choliere, from the World Council of Peace, invite Dr. King to speak at a session in Geneva about the well being of Vietnam.
In a tape-recorded address to the Riverside Church in New York City, Dr. King compares the civil rights struggle to a parable from St. Luke. His sermon specifically tackles contemporary social issues such as segregation, discrimination, and the philosophy of nonviolence. In addition, Dr. King explores the role of the church in dealing with such problems.