Themes

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Intersecting Movements

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.

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Letter from Helen Harrington to MLK with Poems

Thursday, February 8, 1968

Helen Harrington writes to Dr. King to offer him the use of her poems in his writing and speeches. The poems, attached, are entitled 'Color Book,' 'Viet Nam,' and 'Two Prisons.' In a post script, Harrington urges Dr. King to run for president on an independent ticket, provided a peace candidate is not nominated by the Republican or Democratic parties, adding that she wants no more of President Johnson.

SCLC Annual Report by MLK, 1965

Wednesday, August 11, 1965

Dr King delivered this report at the SCLC's ninth annual national convention in Birmingham, Alabama. Serving essentially as a State of the Union address for the SCLC, the report touches on the major topics of the Civil Rights Movement and the recent achievements and goals of the SCLC.

MLK Letter to Mr. Abe Feinglass

Monday, July 27, 1964

Dr. King writes to Abe Feinglass of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen's Union, thanking him for the union's booklet on civil rights, "The Time Is Now." King also encloses a statement of endorsement.

Letter from Irwin Heilner to MLK

Thursday, December 19, 1963

Music composer Irwin Heilner corresponds with Dr. King inquiring about the possibility of composing music and setting it to King's "I Have A Dream" speech.

Methodist Church Statement on Vietnam Conflict

The Board of Christian Social Concerns of the Methodist Church releases a statement regarding the conflict in Vietnam and possible outcomes and solutions. The board urges steps leading to a withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam.

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.

Support Negro Business

This ad by Operation Breadbasket contains a letter from Dr. King promoting support of Negro businesses.

Letter from John Lewis to MLK

Thursday, July 22, 1965

In this letter, John Lewis requests a loan for the amount of $10,000 from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference so that the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee can meet their payroll and cover pressing bills. He then speaks on the importance of continuous dialogue between the SCLC and SNCC.

Letter from A. Philip Randolph to MLK about a Contribution

Thursday, March 9, 1967

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".

Telegram from UFT President Albert Shanker to MLK

Wednesday, September 13, 1967

Albert Shanker expresses his appreciation to Dr. King for his support throughout the tumultuous 1967 education crisis in New York City.

Letter from William S. Stein to MLK

Friday, May 6, 1966

William Stein informs Dr. King that the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church will be contributing to SCLC.

Revolution in the Delta: Farm Hands Go on Strike

David R. Underhill discusses the strike of farm laborers in various Mississippi Delta cities. Underhill highlights strike procedures, methods, and locations.

Agenda for the SCLC State and Local Leaders

Friday, February 2, 1962

This agenda outlines several topics discussed for the Southwide Meeting of State and Local Leaders. Dr. King, the President of the SCLC, spoke on SCLC's 'People to People' Program.

SCLC Seventh Annual Convention

Tuesday, September 24, 1963

This pamphlet advertises the 1963 Southern Christian Leadership Conference Annual Convention. It contains detailed information about the event, including members of the planning committee and scheduled presenters.

Face the Nation Interview

Sunday, August 29, 1965

This is a transcript of an August 1965 interview of Dr. King on the CBS television news program Face the Nation. King is asked to comment on numerous issues facing American society including the conflict in Vietnam, civil rights, housing and birth control.

Letter from Lawndale Business Men's Association

Monday, January 31, 1966

The president of the Lawndale Business Men's Association, Albert Weinberg, invites Dr. King to be the principal speaker for one of the association's events.

Letter from Matthew T. Doherty to MLK

Tuesday, July 26, 1966

Matthew Doherty responds to an "eloquent and moving" appeal from Dr. King in the July 26th issue of The New York Times. Doherty discusses the recent surge in "black power" and its role in the ongoing struggle for equal rights. The writer also mentions his "small" contribution to aid Dr. King's efforts to "make this a better world for all of us."

Letter from Silas K. Brown to MLK

Tuesday, December 26, 1967

Mr. Brown requests the help of Dr. King and the SCLC on behalf of Reverend U.S. Gilliam. Reverend Gilliam, the first Negro to run for public office in Grenada, Mississippi, is under attack by whites in his community.

Letter from Sanford Kahn to MLK

Wednesday, December 21, 1966

Sanford Kahn requests Dr. King's support for an effort to abolish the death penalty at the federal level. If given Dr. King's support, Kahn proposes listing the SCLC as a participating member of the ad hoc committee. If the SCLC cannot be listed, Kahn suggests Dr. King serve as an advisor.

Letter from James Farmer to MLK

Wednesday, August 16, 1967

Chairman J. Farmer gives Dr. King a report from the National Advisory Committee of CORE.

It is Not Enough to Condemn Black Power...

Saturday, October 1, 1966

Dr. King addresses the "Black Power" movement in this two-page document. He also explains his thoughts and experiences relating to the tactics and goals of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Kinship Between the Labor Unions and Negroes

Dr. King presents a speech at the United Auto Workers Convention in May 1961, which acknowledges the new challenges faced by factory workers because of technological advances that threaten to leave them jobless. He draws a parallel between the plight of auto workers and the Negro experiences of disenfranchisement in the US to highlight the potential for alliance between the two groups.

Essay - MLK Entitled "The Bravest Man I Ever Met"

Dr. King's essay, entitled "The Bravest Man I Ever Met," profiles Norman Thomas, a prominent Socialist.

Black Power - Dr. Vincent Harding

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.

Letter from Andrew Heiskell to MLK

Tuesday, July 25, 1967

Mr. Heiskell extends an invitation for Dr. King to join Mayors of major cities and other national leaders in forming a coalition to address urban problems.

MLK's Address About South Africa

Friday, December 10, 1965

Addressing the apartheid situation in South Africa, Dr. King states that white rulers of South Africa, rather than black Africans, are "modern day barbarians." He continues to say that although black South Africans are the majority, they are oppressed by the minority. This is one of many occasions that Dr. King parallels racial injustices and views civil rights as an international issue.

Letter from Franklin W. Thomas to MLK

Friday, June 2, 1967

Franklin W. Thomas writes to Dr. King to apologize for the delay in honoring his participation in the Hungry Club Forum 20th Anniversary Series.

CIC Press Release: Hilliard to Head Catholic Testimonial for MLK

Wednesday, September 23, 1964

The Catholic Interracial Council releases a statement announcing Raymond M. Hilliard as the Chairman of the 1964 John F. Kennedy Award Dinner. During the event, Dr. King will be honored for his leadership and dedication to the civil rights struggle. Hilliard, whom President Johnson named to the National Citizens Committee for Community Relations to advise on the implementation of civil rights legislation, called Dr. King's work "inspired and truly Christian" and said that the CIC was honored to celebrate him.

Letter from Bishop P. Randolph Shy to MLK

Friday, August 11, 1967

Presiding Bishop of The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, P. Randolph Shy, declines Dr. King's invitation to attend an upcoming convention. Bishop Shy mentions that he will make a contribution "through our churches to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference."

Anonymous Letter to MLK

The author suggests that Dr. King focus on six specific things to accomplish in 1968.