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Citing views from historical and contemporary figures, Dr. King asserts that the definition of "man" lies somewhere between God and an animal. Dr. King contends that, although man is limited by time and space, humans are not animals, because they have the capacity for rational thought. However, the central theme that Dr. King argues is that humanity is inherently evil and must constantly strive for high moral standards.
Dr. King uses Matthew 10:16 as the text for this sermon delivered August 30, 1959 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. Soft mindedness, he asserts, makes men gullible, superstitious, and fearful of change and fosters the belief that science and religion are in conflict. It contributes to racial prejudice and is capitalized upon by dictators. But tough mindedness, King says, must be tempered by a compassionate heart. The nonviolent struggle for freedom and justice must combine tough mindedness and tenderness of heart.
As Dr. King reflects on his acceptance of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, he draws a parallel to the American Negroes' nonviolent approach to civil rights and the people of India, Africa, and elsewhere throughout the world. King argues that "humanity's desperate need for peace and progress to move into the truly civilized world of the future" will ultimately derive from adherence to non-violence.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Vice President Harold Gibbons conveys his support to Dr. King for a statewide Mississippi boycott. Gibbons congratulates Dr. King on being the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr. King elaborates on a report regarding civil rights and the collective efforts with the Kennedy Administration to eradicate racial discrimination. The Executive Orders from President Kennedy are unprecedented as he is attempting to eliminate employment discrimination and has appointed Negroes to key government positions. In an effort not to move "too fast," the President's legislative programs have now commenced a pace that is parallel with the consensus. Dr.
Joanne Adams, a student from Central High School, writes Dr. King to voice her support for what he is doing for negro citizens in Birmingham, Alabama.
Mauricio Gregorio Okatha describes to Dr. King the harsh conditions and struggles of the people in Portuguese, Guinea in their fight for freedom. Mr. Okatha requests the SCLC’s assistance in sending medication and clothing for their soldiers, who are wounded and fighting in rags.
The document, shown here, is a rough draft of sermon notes, prepared by Dr. King, under the title "Man Incurably Religious." The exact timeframe, of this sermon draft, is unknown. Dr. King, in this draft, puts the spotlight on examples such as a baby's attachment to a mother, a flower's direction toward the sun and the flight pattern of a pigeon. He used a quotation of St. Augustine that said, "We come forth from God and we shall be homesick until we return to him."
This pamphlet from the Fellowship of Reconciliation features a letter written from eight Alabama Clergymen to Dr. King. The Clergymen express their discontent with the movement and Dr. King brings forth a response. The response is later known as one of Dr. King's famous texts, "Letter from Birmingham City Jail." The pamphlet also includes Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech from the 1963 March on Washington.
Paul R. Davis, Minister at First Congregational Church of Webster Groves, writes Dr. King regarding an interview between Dr. King and Father Daniel Lyons, S. J. about the connection between Vietnam and the need for US federal poverty program funding. Davis requests any material to "clarify critical interpretations" that may have been perceived by the interview.
The faculty of Howard University's Law School offers to assist Dr. King in the fight against social injustice in Alabama.
Saifuddin Ahmed writes on behalf of the East Pakistan Student Union inviting Dr. King to speak at their 10th Provincial Conference. The students also express their admiration for Dr. King's dedication and leadership to human rights worldwide.
In this letter, dated 11/29/66, Mr. Andrew Hobart, President of Ministers Life and Casualty Union informs Dr. King that his application for reinstatement has been accepted, and cautions a lapsed contract may result in a loss or reduction of benefits.
President John F. Kennedy writes Dr. King expressing appreciation for his support during this difficult time. President Kennedy is referring to the death of his second son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who died two days after his birth August 7, 1963.
Harold Stassen, President of the American Baptist Convention and former Minnesota Governor, congratulates Dr. King on being the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He states that Dr. King is the most deserving because he tackles the race crisis through non-violent means.
ECLC writes to ask for assistance with their efforts to criminalize governmental draft tactics. As staunch supporters of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, ECLC argues that the Draft is a violation of citizen's constitutional rights. Furthermore, they have dedicated their services to protecting the rights of youth, arguing that the draft is economically discriminatory in "student deferments". The organization challenges other civil liberties organizations to join them in this fight.