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"Speeches"

The Dimensions of a Complete Life

Sunday, November 13, 1960

Dr. King's speech at Cornell University cites the new and complete city of God described in the Book of Revelation to propose that life at its best is complete in three dimensions. He states that a complete or three-dimensional life includes an inward concern for one's personal ends, an outward commitment to the welfare of others, and an upward connection with God.

Introduction of Senator Edward M. Kennedy by MLK

Monday, August 8, 1966

Dr. King introduces the SCLC's guest speaker, Senator Edward Kennedy at a conference in Jackson, Mississippi.

Martin Luther King Does It Again

Sunday, April 23, 1967

Ralph C. Bailey, a marcher in the New York City demonstration against the War in Vietnam, describes the demonstration as an "impressive spectacle" of people of all ages and races. He praises Dr. King for combining revolution with nonviolence in hopes of a peaceful demonstration.

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.

MLK Speech Outline

This document contains a preliminary speech outline by Dr. King. The topic of the talk is "The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness," and in it Dr. King maintains that, "We must continue to courageously challenge the system of segregation."

MLK's Address at the Pilgrimage for Democracy

Sunday, December 15, 1963

Dr. King discusses the issues of segregation, poverty and discrimination within the City of Atlanta, in this 1963 speech at the Pilgrimage for Democracy. He explains that although Atlanta was thought to be a place of "racial harmony," the reality of glaring discrimination in Atlanta's schools, restaurants, and housing has left the local Negro community "tired," and hungry for change.

I've Been To The Mountaintop

Wednesday, April 3, 1968

"I've Been to the Mountaintop" is the last speech Dr. King delivered. A day after making this address at the Masonic Temple in Memphis, Tennessee, he was assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room. Dr. King spoke of faith, nonviolent protest and his support of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike. He urged both a march and a boycott against Memphis area businesses. Dr. King ended his speech by musing about his previous brush with death and other threats against him.

A Look To The Future

Monday, September 2, 1957

For the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Highlander Folk School, Dr. King delivers the speech "A Look To The Future." He uses a timeline to explain the adversities African Americans endured to gain recognition as American citizens. He also points out the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Councils to make African Americans second class citizens. Lastly, Dr. King points out that America should be more maladjusted in order to avoid failing to cope with the demands of the normal social environment.

MLK at the Jefferson County Armory

Tuesday, August 23, 1960

In this outline, Dr. King discusses voting and the importance of citizenship. One of the important points, in Dr. King's outline, states: "Political Parties Must Deliver on Their Promises."

The Negro Family: A Challenge to National Action

Thursday, January 27, 1966

Dr. King addresses the topic of the Negro family. He emphasizes the importance of discussing the Negro family in comparison to other races.

"The American Dream"

Tuesday, June 6, 1961

This transcription of the commencement address delivered by Dr. King at Lincoln University on June 6 1961.

Joint Statement on Violence in the Cities

Wednesday, July 26, 1967

Dr. King, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young Jr., and Roy Wilkins issue a joint statement urging Negro Americans in cities such as Newark and Detroit to end the public disorder and rioting. The civil rights leaders emphasize the potential damage the urban riots pose to "the Negro population, to the civil rights cause, and to the entire nation."

MLK's Statement Upon Return to Montgomery

Friday, October 24, 1958

Dr. King expounds on his brutal attack by the "deranged woman" Izola Ware Curry, in which he was stabbed near the heart. He stresses the importance of remaining committed to nonviolence and says he is grateful for the outpouring of sympathy and affection he received while in the hospital.

MLK Remarks at the NAACP's Civil Rights Rally

Sunday, July 10, 1960

Dr. King addresses the NAACP in regards to the equality of the school systems for Negro students. He urges the crowd to "employ only the highest weapons of dignity and discipline" while continuing to fight against segregation.

Notes for an Address to Memphis Strikers

Dr. King drafted these notes, which were used in an address given in Memphis, Tennessee in March of 1968. "Dives" is a Biblical character who refused to give aid to the poor and was condemned for it.

MLK Announces End of Montgomery Bus Boycott

Thursday, December 20, 1956

Dr. King, as President of the Montgomery Improvement Association, issued this statement following the US Supreme Court’s decision declaring laws requiring segregation on busses unconstitutional. He announces that the year-long bus boycott is officially over and urges Negroes to return to the buses the next morning on a non-segregated basis. Negroes need to adopt a spirit of understanding toward their white brothers, he says. It is time to move from protest to reconciliation.

MLK's Weekend Itinerary

This itinerary reflects Dr. King's schedule of speaking engagements at various churches and schools throughout Alabama.

Birmingham Desegregation Settlement Agreement

Friday, May 10, 1963

Dr. King reviews the settlement made between the City of Birmingham and civil rights protesters. This agreement includes the integration of lunch counters, sitting rooms, restrooms, and water fountains within ninety days.

Black Power - Dr. Vincent Harding

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.

The Road to Freedom

This draft of Dr. King's "The Road to Freedom" speech explains "there is nothing more powerful in all the world than an idea whose time has come." He further states that the time has indeed come for the ideas of human dignity and freedom.

Importance of the Public Accommodations Section of the Civil Rights Bill

This document features a story of a white civil rights worker who was fined and sentence to jail because she sought to eat with her Negro friends in a restaurant in Atlanta.

What Are We Fighting For?

This outlines the sermon "What Are We Fighting For" into three components: the past, the present, and the future.

Draft of a Speech Regarding the Chicago Freedom Movement

This is a draft copy of Dr. King's speech on the Chicago Freedom Movement. The intention of this movement is to end slums in Chicago. Dr. King calls upon the poverty-stricken Negro, the middle class Negro, and the white community for assistance with this movement. Dr. King also states that years after the March on Washington, he has seen his dream turn into a nightmare due to the murders of civil rights activists.

The Chicago Plan

Friday, January 7, 1966

Dr. King laments over Chicago becoming so much like the South that many African Americans moved north to get away from. Dr. King lays out reasons why African Americans suffer more in Chicago than any other northern city and provides directions to correct the problem.

Revolution and Redemption

Sunday, August 16, 1964

This document contains the address, "Revolution and Redemption," given by Dr. King in Amsterdam. Dr. King discusses the concerns of the "Gospel of Jesus Christ." He states there are two aspects of the world that must never be forgotten: "this is God's world," and that Jesus Christ gave his life for redemption.

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.

New York Amsterdam News: Our New President

Friday, December 27, 1963

Dr. King opens his statement on Lyndon B. Johnson, the new president of the United States, and how the tenure of his presidency began with adversity. Due to the elected southern president, the nation questions the possible improvement of the Negro community. Dr. King asserts that President Johnson's record on civil rights is astounding and his "southern-ness" will provide him with a better understanding of the Negro's plight. Dr. King further details the perceptions, actions, and works of President Johnson's efforts in the civil rights movement.

MLK Address to Southern Association of Political Scientists

Friday, November 13, 1964

Dr. King addresses the Southern Association of Political Scientists in November of 1964. This address consists of the accomplishments made because of the Civil Rights Movement and areas that society needs to improve upon.

The Other America

Sunday, March 10, 1968

Dr. King delivered this speech, "The Other America," for the Local 1199 Salute to Freedom program. The speech emphasized the need to address poverty, the Vietnam War, and race relations in America.

A Realistic Look at Race Relations

Thursday, May 17, 1956

Dr. King gives the three views one can take regarding the state of race relations: optimism, pessimism, and realistic. Dr. King argues for a realistic stance because America has accomplished much in race relations, but still has a long way to go. He further explains that he thinks segregation is in its last days.