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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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Outline Regarding Man

Dr. King's outline regarding a number of topics pertaining to Man and ones pilgrimage through life.

Religion

Dr. King quotes Borden Parker Bowne. The first name Gordon on the note card is incorrect.

Draft Speech for Atlanta Nobel Peace Prize Reception

Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Illinois (IL), California (CA), Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

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.

Dr. King Acceptance as an Honorary Member of Wellesley College

Dr. King often had delayed responses due to his strenuous schedule, traveling obligations, and completion of the necessary duties as the President of the SCLC. Dr. King's letter to Miss Knight provides an example of the unintentional unpunctuality as he accepts an award as an honorary member of Wellesley College class of 1966.

MLK's GRE Scores

Thursday, February 1, 1951
New Jersey (NJ)

This report contains MLK's graduate record examination scores.

Error

This set of note cards written by Dr. King explores the causation of error. King quotes Alfred North Whitehead's "The Concept of Nature" noting several reasons as to the rise of error.

This is Dr. King's official transcript from Morehouse College for 1944-1948

Tuesday, November 7, 1950
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

This is Dr. King's official transcript from Morehouse College from 1944-1948.

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.

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.

Pilgrimage to Nonviolence

Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL, INDIA

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

How Do You View the Progress in School Desegregation?

New York, NY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Lowndes County, AL, Philadelphia, MS

In this special for the New York Times, Dr. King shares his opinion on the progress made in desegregating schools.

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.

Letter from Massachusetts Mental Health Center to MLK

Tuesday, January 16, 1962
Boston, MA

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."

Transcripts for Courses at Harvard University

Thursday, August 13, 1953
Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts (MA)

Lois Ryan forwards a transcript for two courses that Dr. King took while studying at Harvard University. These courses were Philosophy of Plate: Introductory and The Philosophy of Whitehead.

Social Philosophy Seminar Outline

Dr. King’s outline of key figures and their respective works for the Social Philosophy course he taught at Morehouse College during the 1961-1962 academic year.

Where Do We Go From Here (Chapter V Draft)

Alabama (AL), Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, Georgia (GA), New York (NY), Selma, AL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

This draft of Where Are We Going?, Chapter 5 of Dr. King's book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? was significantly edited before publication but the central ideas are here. The government's failure to develop economic justice programs cannot be blamed on the Civil Rights Movement's lack of ideas, as often claimed. Building the political will for change is more important for the movement. The rights of Negroes to economic well-being are well aligned with goals and tactics of the labor movement. Negro leadership needs to be developed from within the community.

MLK's Examination Book for Bible Course

Tuesday, December 3, 1946
EGYPT, GREECE

Dr. King writes six short essays for an examination in his Bible course.

Foreword of "The Power of Nonviolence"

Thursday, January 1, 1959
New York (NY), DENMARK, NORWAY, FRANCE, NETHERLANDS, GERMANY, SOUTH AFRICA, GHANA, Montgomery, AL, INDIA

This is a copy of a foreword written by Dr. King to Richard Gregg's "The Power of Nonviolence."

The Pastor and His Reference Library

Pennsylvania (PA)

Here is "The Pastor and His Reference Library" by Edward C. Starr. Starr served as librarian at Bucknell. Dr. King more than likely used this resource to conduct research and organize citations while attending Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, PA.

MLK Examination Book for Bible Course

Tuesday, March 26, 1946

Dr. King answers a number of questions for an exam in his Bible course. He covers diverse topics, including prophecy and the Book of Job.

Letter from MLK Regarding Atlanta University Center

Atlanta, GA

Dr. King writes to a woman concerning what he calls "the best Negro colleges in the South." He discusses the Atlanta University Center, which consists of Spelman College, Morehouse College, Clark University and Morris Brown College.

Seminar in Social Philosophy Notes

Dr. King records notes for his Seminar in Social Philosophy course. These notes consist of readings by and related to ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle.

Promotional Article for Why We Can't Wait

Birmingham, AL

This Harper released publication contains a preview of the religious books to be published in the summer and fall of 1964. Dr. King's "Why We Can't Wait" is featured with the byline "The 'Man of the Year' writes the 'Book of the Year'."

Oberlin College Commencement

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Washington, D.C., PUERTO RICO, VIETNAM, INDIA, Alabama (AL), Mississippi (MS), New Hampshire (NH)

This issue of the Oberlin Alumni Magazine features commencement articles and photos as well as Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, Dr. King’s address to the graduating class.

Reviews of Strength to Love

Georgia (GA), Washington, D.C., Birmingham, AL, New York, NY

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.

Mars Lecture Series

Tuesday, April 15, 1958
Illinois (IL), Montgomery, AL

This 1958 program features Dr. King as guest lecturer for the Mars Lectures at Northwestern University.

The Strength of the Legacy

Sunday, November 22, 1964
Philadelphia, PA, Pennsylvania (PA), Mississippi (MS), Florida (FL)

In this New York Herald Tribune article, Dr. King refers to the recent 1964 Presidential election as a decisive repudiation of segregation and extremism. He claims the election results honored the memory of President John F. Kennedy, assassinated a year earlier. Kennedy’s greatest contribution to human rights, King says, was his televised appeal to the American people on June 19, 1963 describing equal rights and equal opportunity as a moral issue as old as the scriptures and as clear as the Constitution.

Friends Journal: A Quaker Weekly

Saturday, July 26, 1958
New Jersey (NJ), Philadelphia, PA, CANADA, MEXICO, London, England, Berlin, Germany, Indiana (IN), JAPAN, LEBANON, NORWAY, Geneva, Switzerland, TURKEY, Pittsburgh, PA, Richmond, VA, California (CA), Montgomery, AL, INDIA

Dr. King's article, "Nonviolence and Racial Justice" is included in this edition of the Friends Journal. Dr. King's entry discusses the various implications of race relations in America and the beneficial elements of nonviolence.

MLK in his Study

Atlanta, GA

This is a photograph of Dr. King in his study in Atlanta.