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Dr. King the Scholar

As a pastor and theologian, Dr. King modeled the life of a public intellectual. He was a consummate scholar, speaker and writer. Growing up the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, Dr. King was surrounded by opportunities for informal learning. In his life and studies, he had exposure to some of the nation’s brightest minds. He excelled in his days as a student at Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary and Boston University. Dr. King knew the liberating power of education and this undoubtedly informed his efforts to make that power available to all children in America. This theme provides a selection of documents related to Dr. King’s life as a student and scholar.

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Those Who Fail To Speak

Saturday, June 5, 1965

Dr. King discusses the stagnant progress of desegregation despite the fact that a decade has passed since the Supreme Court's ruling on Brown v. Board of Education.

Thoughts on Nobel Prize

This draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech lends recognition to the nonviolent practices of those engaged in the fight for equality and civil rights.

Class Syllabus: Sociology of Religion

This portion of a syllabus lists the basic bibliography and outline for the Sociology of Religion course taught by Kenneth Underwood. Included are several well known authors that influenced Dr. King's studies, e.g. Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Problems of Esthetics

Dr. King writes class notes from his Problems of Esthetics course at the University of Pennsylvania around 1950-1951. He enrolled in the above class while attending Crozer Theological Seminary.

Letter from Massachusetts Mental Health Center to MLK

Tuesday, January 16, 1962

Drs. Myron Sharaf and Milton Greenblatt invite Dr. King to speak at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Department of Mental Health where the staff and researchers share an interest in ending "hate in social life."

Book Fair at Hofstra University

Monday, March 13, 1967

Mrs. Wilbur Scott requests that Dr. King donate an autographed book, picture or any memento for the Hofstra University Book Fair to raise funds in support of the new university library.

Letter from Morehouse College President to MLK

Saturday, May 7, 1966

Morehouse College President Dr. Benjamin E. Mays appeals to Dr. King to contribute to the school on the occasion of the college?s 100th anniversary.

MLK's Notes On the Influence of Radio

Dr. King records information regarding religious broadcasting. He list percentages of public influence, prize giveaways and other relevant historical details.

Evil

Dr. King references the religious philosopher William Ernest Hocking regarding the topic of evil.

Letter from Geraldine Ford to MLK

Saturday, December 28, 1968

The president of the Oxford Union Society invites Dr. King to a debate that will possibly be televised by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The debate will discuss topics associated with the international race issue, injustice, discrimination and more. The president addresses the concerns surrounding the Black Power Movement in the United States and in Britain.

The Philosophy of Life Undergirding Christianity and The Christian Ministry

In this essay fragment from his Crozer Seminary days, Dr. King writes that Christianity is a value philosophy whose values are embodied in the life of Christ. He begins to spell out what those values are. The first, King states, is the value of the world as something positive and life-affirming, in contrast to the negative view of the world of the ascetics and religions of India. The second value is that of persons, who have supreme worth. People must be used as ends, never as means to ends, although there have been periods in history where Christianity has fallen short.

Invitation from Manitoba New Democratic Party

Thursday, August 19, 1965

B. Swailes, Provincial Secretary of the Manitoba New Democratic Party, extends a speaking invitation to Dr. King to discuss human rights.

The Danger of Misguided Goodness

Under the title, "The Danger of Misguided Goodness," the central message in these sermon notes is the need for all individuals to be morally conscientious.

Statements on Jobs and Poverty

Friday, November 6, 1964

Dr. King explains the relationship between violence and the lack of employment among young people. Dr. King also speaks of the Thanksgiving Fast for Freedom and its efforts to end poverty and hunger.

Plato Psychology

Dr. King explores Plato's contribution to psychology.

Class Notes: Joshua

This eleven card series features Biblical verses from the Book of Joshua which Dr. King references under specific subject titles. The section titles range from "Knowledge" to "Passages for Homiletical Use."

Commencement Ceremony at Boston University

This photograph shows a commencement ceremony at Boston University in June of 1959.

In a Word- Now

This is a draft of the article "In a Word-Now" written by Dr. King. It was published in the New York Times on September 29, 1963.

MLK's GRE Scores

Thursday, February 1, 1951

This report contains MLK's graduate record examination scores.

Relation Between Esthetics and Science

Dr. King writes notes regarding "The Relation Between Esthetics and Science." King cites several philosophers, psychologists, and scientists, and their different theories regarding science, mathematics, art, and esthetics.

Draft Speech for Atlanta Nobel Peace Prize Reception

Dr. King drafts a speech that he will make in Atlanta for the reception honoring his Nobel Peace Prize winning. In the speech he offers his gratitude to friends and family who supported him in his efforts. Dr. King also briefly discusses the issue of racial injustice and the continued fight for equality.

Syllabus for Christian Social Philosophy II- Kenneth L. Smith

Dr. King earned an A in this course in 1951 and did his presentation on Jacques Maritain. This syllabus contains the reading requirements for the course and directions for a concluding presentation and report.

Bible 252

This exam from a course entitled "Bible 252" lists forty-eight questions regarding Biblical knowledge.

Blue Spiral Notebook

Contained in this notebook is a draft of Dr. King's statement to Judge James E. Webb following his arrest during the Rich's Magnolia Tea Room Sit-In. There is also an outline of a letter to female students who were arrested during the sit-in. On other pages a child practices handwriting.

Syllabus In Christian Education

This syllabus outlines the various elements of a course entitled "Christian Education" from Dr. King's experience at Crozer Theological Seminary.

Reviews of Strength to Love

These reviews of Dr. King's "Strength to Love" illustrate King's use of theological beliefs in conjunction with the struggle for civil rights reform.

Pilgrimage to Nonviolence

Dr. King's essay "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence" provides a replete account of the thinkers, ideas and sentiments responsible for his pledge to nonviolence.

The Weaknesses of Liberal Theology

In this paper from his Crozer Seminary days, Dr. King discusses his thoughts regarding liberal theology, which he thinks is the most logical theology that exists. There are weaknesses, however, one being that it often loses itself in higher criticism.

Non-Violent Procedures to Inter-Racial Harmony

Tuesday, October 16, 1956

In this early speech to a NY Universalists' convention, Dr. King lays out his nonviolence method, based on Gandhi's. He outlines five of the six principles he will use later. They are: active, courageous resistance; winning the moral conversion of the opponent, not defeating him; attacking the forces of evil, rather than the persons doing evil; using love to avoid "internal violence of the spirit"; and faith in the inclination of the universe towards justice.

How My Theology Has Changed

Dr. King highlights seven main ways in which his theological views have changed since his final year at Crozer Theological Seminary.