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"Speeches"

Gandhi Society for Human Rights Address by MLK

Thursday, May 17, 1962

Dr. King speaks at a luncheon launching the Gandhi Society on May 17, 1962, citing the great significance of the day: the anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision declaring school segregation unconstitutional, the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the centennial of the death of Henry David Thoreau, whose essay on civil disobedience influenced Gandhi. He announces that earlier that day he sent President Kennedy a document seeking an executive order proclaiming all forms of segregation to be a violation of the US Constitution.

Press Statement Regarding Crusade for Citizenship

Saturday, October 5, 1957

Dr. King delivers a statement surrounding the civil rights struggle of the Negro community and the appeals for justice to public officials. He asserts that in regards to the Prayer Pilgrimage, there cannot be a citizen whom does not have the right to vote. With the initiation of the Crusade for Citizenship, the citizenship of the Negro has the opportunity to be a reality.

MLK Speech at SCLC Staff Retreat

Monday, November 14, 1966

Dr. King addresses the staff of the SCLC at a retreat in Frogmore, South Carolina. He divides his speech into three parts: "whence we have come, where we have come, and where do we go from here." Dr. King thoroughly discusses his thoughts on Communism, the practice of nonviolence, the belief that racism is an "ontological affirmation,"and the weaknesses of Black Power.

Beyond Vietnam

Tuesday, April 4, 1967

In Dr. Kings Beyond Vietnam address, he discusses seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into "a field of moral vision," five things that the government should do to remove itself from conflict with Vietnam, the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, and Premier Diem. Dr. King also encourages those in the churches and the synagogues to speak out against the war in Vietnam.

SCLC Resolution on 1966 Civil Rights Act

Thursday, August 11, 1966

At its Tenth Annual Convention, the SCLC Board adopts a resolution calling upon President Johnson and Congress to reverse a vote on Title IV (Open Housing) of the Civil Rights Act of 1966 that effectively permits discrimination in the sale or rental of private housing. It also faults the Administration for failure to enforce Title VI (Ban on Federal Funds for Segregated Programs and Schools) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and for inadequate appointment of voter examiners under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Outline of MLK's 1962 Address to NAACP

In Dr. King's handwriting, this outline is from a speech he later addressed to the NAACP, at its 53rd Annual Convention in Atlanta, GA.

MLK Address at NAACP 53rd Convention

Thursday, July 5, 1962

Dr. King delivered this address to the NAACP's 53rd Annual Convention held in Morehouse College's gymnasium in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King argues that it is imperative to debunk the perceived myths concerning segregation and discrimination in order to foster a society free of racial inequalities.

Transcripts of Speeches And Statements Along The Meridith March

Thursday, June 16, 1966

Dr. King discusses the recent violent challenge faced by the Negro and the SCLC in which they have experienced a "threat of murder." This issue has motivated Dr. King to continuously press for social change and maintain the responsibilities in Mississippi.

Hungry Club Speech

Wednesday, May 10, 1967

Dr. King speaks on "America's Chief Moral Dilemma." He contends that the dilemma in the world is the result of three major evils: racism, poverty, and war. Dr. King encourages the audience to work toward making America a moral example for the rest of the world.

Speeches by the Leaders

In this booklet, the NAACP compiled famous speeches from the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Included are speeches from A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, Rabbi Joachim Prinz, Whitney M. Young, Matthew Ahmann, John Lewis, Walter Reuther, and Dr. King. The booklet concludes with a pledge and a picture of the throng of supporters that attended the event. test

SCLC President's Report - MLK

Wednesday, August 10, 1966

Delivered at the Tenth Annual Convention of the SCLC, Dr. King presents the annual report for the organization. King addresses several elements of the Civil Rights Movement as he discusses the successes, plans, goals, and vision of the SCLC in relation to the wider movement it represents.

Address by Dabbs entitled 'Quit You Like Men' Delivered at SCLC

Thursday, October 1, 1959

This address to the Fall Session of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was delivered in October, 1959, by James McBride Dabbs. Dabbs speaks to the social condition in the United States, highlighting the equality of the races. Arguing that justice is a two way street, Dabbs brings up Dr. King's "Stride Toward Freedom," in which Dr. King defends the Montgomery bus boycott as an essential non-cooperation to show discontent.

We Return to Birmingham Jail to Bear Witness

On his way to turn themselves in to Birmingham jail again in 1967, Dr. King writes this article in longhand, asserting the purposes of the civil rights activists' civil disobedience. Their unjust incarceration, he states, will allow them to bear witness to an unjust justice system, from Bull Connor's dogs to the US Supreme Court. The Court had just issued a decision supporting Connor's injunction forbidding the protests of the Birmingham campaign, which had led to his first incarceration there in 1963.

MLK Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

Thursday, December 10, 1964

In his acceptance speech at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway, Dr. King dedicates his award to the nonviolent struggle necessary for overcoming the oppression and violence afflicting American Negroes.

Speech to the American Psychological Association

Friday, September 1, 1967

In this speech on the 75th anniversary of the American Psychological Association, Dr. King acknowledges the help that social science can have in the quest of Negroes for equality. He identifies three areas for study: Negro leadership, the efficacy of political action, and the psychological and ideological changes taking place in Negroes as a result of a decade of struggle.

I Have A Dream

In the most famous of his speeches, given from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Dr. King drew on themes from previous sermons and speeches, including an address he called The American Dream. Citing Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, the US Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence, King calls upon the nation to fulfill its promise of freedom and justice for all of its citizens. Although he began by reading from a manuscript, he later abandoned it and spoke directly to the crowd of more than 200,000.

Address by MLK at the Washington, DC Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom

Friday, May 17, 1957

Dr. King gives an address at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. regarding race relations and the struggle for justice and racial equality in America. King discusses the responsibility of the President, Congress, and federal courts to ensure all blacks the have the opportunity and the right to vote. King closes by asserting that everyone must stand firm in faith and act only in love and nonviolence in the fight for these rights.

MLK Speech at 4th Constitutional Convention - AFL-CIO

Monday, December 11, 1961

This is an annotated copy of an address given by Dr. King at an AFL-CIO convention. Dr. King thoroughly discusses the working conditions of Negroes, and states the Negro unemployment rate is similar to "malignant cancer." He concludes that the two most dynamic forces in the country are the labor movement and the Negro Freedom Movement.

Statement by the President of the Montgomery Improvement Association

Wednesday, November 14, 1956

Dr. King makes a public statement regarding the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. The Supreme Court rendered a decision making separate but equal unconstitutional. Dr. King states that the next course of action that should be taken is the implementation of this noble decision and the end of the long night of enforced segregation.

MLK on the New York Riots

Monday, July 27, 1964

Dr. King discusses the recent riots that occurred in New York. While some people would like to place the blame on violent blacks, King asserts that one should examine the real issues behind the violence and riots. King states that many blacks feel they will never gain equality in housing, employment, or education, which is why they react violently.

Address by MLK to Southern Association of Political Scientist

Friday, November 13, 1964

Dr. King addresses the issues of poverty, unemployment, education, health, and housing disparities within the nation. Granted, many strides have been made but there is still more work to be done. Equality has still not come full circle in regards to these social issues. Dr. King urges the people to continue the fight of social justice in all aspects of inequality.

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.

The American Dream

The is a draft outline of Dr. King's "The American Dream" speech delivered at many colleges, universities and churches throughout the country. Dr. King urges Americans to abandon practices of discrimination in order to protect the American dream and the proliferation of the nation.

Richard Parrish and Daniel H. Watts Press Release on William Worthy Passport Case

Monday, October 22, 1962

This news release announces plans to picket the American Jewish Congress Award Banquet held for Attorney General Robert Kennedy at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. The Attorney General is to receive an award "for advancing human freedom."

Comments on John F. Kennedy by MLK at the Berlin Festival

Sunday, September 13, 1964

Dr. King gave this speech at the Berlin Freedom Festival in Berlin, West Germany, in memorial to the recently assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Dr. King reflects on the personality, achievements and enormous influence Kennedy had on the world. He highlights Kennedy's commitment to international human rights, which included recognition of Negro rights, and his leadership in concluding the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty.

MLK's Statement to SCLC Describing SCOPE

Wednesday, June 16, 1965

In this statement, Dr. King describes the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE), an initiative of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Its goals are to train local leaders, inform the public, and register individuals to vote.

Senator Edward Kennedy's Address to SCLC

Monday, August 8, 1966

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) addresses the 1966 SCLC Annual Convention, stating that the sit-ins, freedom rides and Montgomery bus boycott created a movement that brought about the most important change of the last 20 years. He says that while the caste system in politics is over, the life of the average Negro hasn’t changed much. Society is becoming divided rich and poor, black and white, and a massive commitment of national resources must be made to upgrade Negro life in America.

ABC's Issues and Answers: MLK Interview

Sunday, June 18, 1967

Dr. King sat down with Tom Jerriel, Atlanta Bureau Chief, and John Casserly, Washington Correspondent, of the American Broadcasting Company for their program "Issues and Answers." They discussed the civil rights movement, Dr. King's upcoming book, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Dr. King would serve jail time in Birmingham.

United States Department of Agriculture

Thursday, February 1, 1968

This document references Secretary Orville L. Freeman's speech regarding administrative programs to improve food assistance and nutrition. One of the programs that is discussed is the School Breakfast Program, which will make free breakfast available to thousands of children. Other programs are also mentioned and described as the document proceeds.

MLK Comments on Jack O'Dell's Alleged Communist Ties

Dr. King attempts to correct the erroneous impressions created by various newspapers alleging Jack O'Dell's connection to "Communist" activities. While Dr. King maintains Mr. O'Dell's strong work performance, the Detroit native will relinquish his role "in order to avoid embarrassment to SCLC."