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Awake America

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A poem by Jerry Peace calls for Americans to wake up and address current world issues.

Letter from MLK to Reverend Charles R. Bell Jr. about Beating of a Prisoner

Tuesday, December 13, 1966
California (CA)

In this correspondence, Dr. King offers thanks to Rev. Bell for his letter about the "horrible beating" of a Negro prisoner in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Letter from Bea Lazar to Dora McDonald

Friday, December 22, 1961
New York (NY), New York, NY

Bea Lazar thanks Miss McDonald for sending a copy of a recent speech given by Dr. King. She praises the speech as a lesson that Americans "sorely need." She also encloses a contribution to the SCLC as a Christmas present.

A Manual for Direct Action

Chicago, IL

In this foreword Bayard Rustin provides an introduction into the rules and tips involved in nonviolent action concerning protests. Mr. Rustin describes nonviolent methods that people can use when encountering dangerous or difficult situations.

Letter from John Harrigan Jr. to MLK

Saturday, May 20, 1967
Massachusetts (MA), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

John Harrigan, Jr. describes his education and work experience to Dr. King, and explains his desire to transition to the social revolutionary movement. He offers his services to Dr. King, stating his reimbursement requirements. He ends his letter by outlining a four step process to solve poverty in the United States.

Letter from Clarence Henry to Robert F. Kennedy

Friday, February 2, 1962
New Orleans, LA

Clarence Henry requests the immediate surveillance of Fred Shuttleworth's home by Kennedy's office in lieu of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's arrest.

Telegram from MLK to Family of Marshall Shepherd

Friday, February 24, 1967
Philadelphia, PA, Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. King offers condolences and encouragement to the bereaved family of Marshall Shepherd, a Minister at Mt. Olivet Tabernacle Church in Philadelphia. Due to a previous commitment, Dr. King will be unable to attend the funeral.

Letter from John Yungblut to MLK

Monday, January 16, 1961
Atlanta, GA, New Orleans, LA

John Yungblut writes to Dr. King to confirm his ability to lead a seminar for the Atlanta Meeting's Quaker House on the Philosophy and Practice of Non-violence.

Poetry

Dr. King quotes Shelley's views on poetry from the book "Defiance of Poetry."

Letter from Sam Aluko to MLK

Wednesday, November 16, 1966
NIGERIA, Geneva, Switzerland

Sam Aluko writes Dr. King requesting him to contribute to the National Relief Fund, which assists displaced people in Nigeria.

Handwritten notecard regarding Religion

On this notecard, Dr. King outlines his views on religion. This is an example of one of the many notecards Dr. King kept in a cardboard filing box for reference to quotations, ideas, books and other publications, definitions, and bible verses.

Letter from MLK to Roberta Evans

Thursday, August 23, 1962
Cincinnati, OH

Dr. King thanks Mrs. Evans for her kind gesture in sending a letter enclosed with a book by Will Campbell. Dr. King believes his views on race will be a benefit to him.

Program of the Chicago Freedom Movement

Chicago, IL

The SCLC and the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) issues a program addressing the goals of the Chicago Freedom Movement. The Chicago Freedom Movement is composed of a coalition of organizations who have decided to eradicate slums, ghettos and racism from the city.

MLK Thanks a Contributing Author

Dr. King writes to Mr. Morrow thanking him for sending a written manuscript of Marrow's new book. He apologizes for being unable to fully assist him in his writing endeavors.

Letter from Karen Goldberg to MLK

Tuesday, December 3, 1963
Massachusetts (MA)

Karen Goldberg, a twelve-year-old in a religious school, requests some biographical information about Dr. King for a group project.

Pledge Card: Get Rid of Wallace

Alabama (AL)

This adverse advertisement published by the SCLC encourages Negro residents of Alabama not to vote for Governor George Wallace.

Letter from Esther M. Jackson to McGeorge Bundy

Friday, May 19, 1967
North Carolina (NC), New York (NY), New York, NY

Esther Jackson, a professor at Shaw University, writes George Bundy of the Ford Foundation expressing his dismay in the support of a segregated theatre. Jackson also expresses his disappointment in Dr. King and Roy Wilkins for not recognizing the discrimination taking place in form of cultural separatism.

SCLC Statement from Director of Communications

Monday, April 1, 1968
Memphis, TN

Tom Offenburger, SCLC spokesperson, releases a statement to the SCLC staff on future plans for the Poor People's Campaign in Memphis, Tennessee. Plans include marches and boycotts despite "brutal" actions on the behalf of Memphis police.

Man

Dr. King notes that the psalmist’s view of man in Psalms 12:1 seems to indicate that there are no longer godly men.

The Christian Church and Communist Atheism

Missouri (MO), New York (NY)

Helmut Gollwitzer, a Protestant theologian, completes this body of work entitled "The Christian Church and Communist Atheism." The author states that, "socialists may be Christians, but Christians must be socialists."

Letter from John Saunders to MLK

Sunday, February 11, 1968
Washington, D.C.

A supporter from D.C. writes Dr. King to ask if he can work for him in the "coming campaign".

Telegram from George Garabedian to MLK

Sunday, July 24, 1966
JORDAN

Mr. Garabedian, a tourist agent in Jerusalem and Jordan, requests that Dr. King allow him to make accommodations for his upcoming trip.

Tests of Great Music

Dr. King lists five criteria to use to evaluate whether a piece of music is great. Great music should hold its appeal over time, connect different experiences, foster a deeper life experience, unify history and integrate the individual personality.

Death

Dr. King documents a quote from Pascal regarding "Death."

Letter from National Press Club to MLK

Wednesday, August 22, 1962
Washington, D.C., New York (NY)

A representative from the National Press Club (Washington, D.C.) writes to Dr. King, asking him to review and correct any inaccuracies in a transcription from a Q & A that took place at the Press Club.

Letter from Mary R. Hunt to Mrs.King Regarding Recommendation for Employment

Monday, May 27, 1963
Atlanta, GA

Ms. Hunt, Director of the Extramural Department for Antioch College, sends Mrs. King the resume and photo of Dixie Lee Kisor for employment consideration.

Proclaim Liberty...

Atlanta, GA

Carl T. Rowan, one of the most prominent black journalists of the 20th century, is honored at the Progressive Club in Atlanta, GA. This reservation form was sent out to invited guests of the celebration.

A Proposal for Unity Day

Tuesday, March 15, 1966
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, FRANCE, UNITED KINGDOM, FORMER SOVIET UNION / USSR, CHINA, California (CA), San Francisco, CA, GERMANY, COSTA RICA, LEBANON, PHILIPPINES, NORTH KOREA, SOUTH KOREA, Washington, D.C., JAPAN, New York (NY), New York, NY, Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL

Joseph Polowsky composed a proposal to present to the United Nations for the creation of an April 25th holiday, to be known as Unity Day. This holiday is in commemoration of a conference of the war-time allied nations in San Francisco.

Letter from J. Campe to MLK Regarding Book Advance

Monday, December 19, 1966
New York, NY

In this letter, J. Campe encloses advance payment from Harper & Row for Dr. King's "Where Do We Go From Here."

Draft of I Have a Dream

Wednesday, August 28, 1963
Washington, D.C.

This version of Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech reveals important changes to ideas and phrases that Dr. King chose either to alter or omit completely the day he addressed the throng gathered before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dr. King's argument against the "normalcy" of bigotry remained a key message on the day he took the podium.