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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Black Power - Dr. Vincent Harding

Atlanta, GA, New York, NY, Mississippi (MS), ALGERIA, Birmingham, AL, Albany, GA, Georgia (GA), EGYPT

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 Percival Ennis to MLK

BELIZE, HONDURAS

Percival Ennis, president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in British Honduras, asks Dr. King if he is able to visit British Honduras and speak to his organization.

Letter from Leon Lowry to the King's

Saturday, December 8, 1962
Florida (FL), Atlanta, GA

A. Leon Lowry invites the Kings to speak at Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in Florida for their Men's and Women's services.

Telegram from MLK to President Kennedy

In this draft telegram, Dr. King expresses his appreciation to President Kennedy for the Executive Order outlawing discrimination in all federally assisted housing.

Letter from Randolph T. Blackwell to MLK Requesting a Leave of Absence from the S.C.L.C.

Monday, June 13, 1966

Randolph T. Blackwell requests a one-year leave of absence from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to work with Citizens Crusade Against Poverty. Blackwell will assist the S.C.L.C. sister organization with its emerging Southern Rural Development Project.

Campaign for a World Constitution Leaflet

New York, NY, New Jersey (NJ), Illinois (IL), New York (NY), SWITZERLAND, ITALY, NETHERLANDS, INDIA

This pamphlet announces a World Constitutional Convention to be held in Switzerland. Dr. King, who was among the signers of a "Call for a Constitutional Convention," is quoted in the leaflet stating that a world government would lessen tensions.

Letter from George W. Chivers to MLK

Saturday, August 20, 1966
Pennsylvania (PA), Philadelphia, PA, Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, Alabama (AL)

George W. Chivers writes to Dr. King objecting to the Alabama law that disallows women from sitting as jurors. He compares this denial of women's civil rights to the injustices suffered by Negroes in Alabama.

Transcript: Press Conference USA

Friday, July 5, 1963
GHANA, South Carolina (SC), Washington (WA), INDIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Mississippi (MS), Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL

Robert Lodge questions Dr. King about the future and past of the Civil Rights Movement during a Press Conference USA recording.

Program from The Poor People's Campaign Committee for Nassau County

Dr. King delivers an address for the Poor People's Campaign Committee of Nassau County.

The Massachusetts Review: A Legacy of Creative Protest

Friday, September 7, 1962
Mississippi (MS), Albany, GA, Montgomery, AL, Massachusetts (MA), Georgia (GA), Alabama (AL)

Dr. King writes of the influence of Henry David Thoreau's essay on the duty of civil disobedience in forming his belief that non-cooperation with evil is a moral obligation. He cites lunch-counter sit-ins, freedom rides, and the bus boycott as evidence that Thoreau’s thinking is still alive. This article appeared in a special 1962 issue of The Massachusetts Review commemorating the centennial of Thoreau’s death.

Telegram from Minsters of Operation Breadbasket to Robert E. Slater

Wednesday, November 22, 1967
Boston, MA, Baltimore, MD

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.

MLK honored; He sees Kinship in Civil Rights and Family Planning

Washington (WA), New York (NY)

Dr. King receives the first Margaret Sanger Award in Human Rights at the National Conference. Dr. King states, "Negroes have a special and urgent concern with family planning as a profoundly important ingredient in their struggle for security and a decent life."

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

Philadelphia, PA

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.

Letter from Bishop P. Randolph Shy to MLK

Friday, August 11, 1967
Atlanta, GA, California (CA)

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."

A Statement to the South and the Nation

HUNGARY, Mississippi (MS), Atlanta, GA

The Southern Leaders Conference on Transportation and Non-Violent Integration issued this statement to the nation regarding the unresolved problems of civil rights. The leaders asked for all Negroes, particularly those in the South, to assert their human dignity and to seek justice by rejecting all injustices.

Letter from Pastor William A. Lawson to MLK

Sunday, September 25, 1966
Texas (TX), Dallas, TX

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.

Letter from Irwin Heilner to MLK

Thursday, December 19, 1963
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), New Jersey (NJ)

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.

Letter from Randall Elias to MLK

Thursday, May 27, 1965
Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL

Randall Elias offers the support of himself and the North Shore Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action for the civil rights march from Chicago to Springfield.

Letter from MLK to Congressman Ogden R. Reid

Friday, February 19, 1965
Alabama (AL), Selma, AL, Washington, D.C., Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Dr. King informs Congressman Reid (R-New York) of the positive impact he left on Negro citizens during his visit to Selma, Alabama.

Agenda for the SCLC State and Local Leaders

Friday, February 2, 1962
Atlanta, GA

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.

Rio Grande Farm Workers Bulletin

Wednesday, February 1, 1967
Texas (TX)

This bulletin describes the difficulty that migrant farm laborers have encountered forming organizations to improve economic conditions.

Letter from Walter Martin to SCLC Officials

Tuesday, February 28, 1967
New York, NY, South Africa

Walter Martin of the American Friends Service Committee, writes to numerous SCLC officials concerning Quaker work in Southern Africa.

McGraw-Hill Requests MLK Comment for New Author

Wednesday, November 8, 1967
New York, NY

An editor from McGraw-Hill Book Company writes Dr. King to introduce the work of young African-American author Audrey Lee. The company sends him a galley copy of "The Clarion People", in the hope that he will add a positive remark to help promote the book.

Letter from A. Philip Randolph to MLK about a Contribution

Thursday, March 9, 1967
New York (NY), New York, NY

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".

Letter from Richard W. Boone to MLK

Tuesday, January 11, 1966
Washington, D.C.

A letter from Richard Boone, Executive Director of Citizens Crusade Against Poverty, to Dr. King, enclosing the preliminary draft of the C.C.A.P.'s training proposal to the Ford Foundation.

Letter from Rabbi Gerald A. Goldman to MLK

Friday, March 1, 1968
New York (NY)

Rabbi Gerald A. Goldman invites Dr. King to be a guest at the West Side Peace Committee Conference.

The Central Presbyterian Church Letter to MLK

Monday, August 1, 1966
Denver, CO, JORDAN

Elmer Elsea enlightens Dr. King on how his involvement with the previous Holy Week brought joy and blessings. Mr. Elsea discovers Dr. King will be returning to the Holy Land of Jerusalem for the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. Mr. Elsea encourages Dr. King to utilize Citexco Tours to conduct his expedition.

Telegram from UFT President Albert Shanker to MLK

Wednesday, September 13, 1967
New York, NY, New York (NY)

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

Philadelphia Chapter of CORE Flyer

Philadelphia, PA

This flyer encourages participation in the reformation of the Philadelphia School System.

Letter from Franklin W. Thomas to MLK

Friday, June 2, 1967
Atlanta, GA

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