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"Speeches"

"The American Dream"

Tuesday, June 6, 1961

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

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.

Remarks by MLK at the Freedom House Annual Dinner

Tuesday, November 26, 1963

Dr. King expresses his appreciation for being honored by Freedom House. He also pays tribute to the life and work of John F. Kennedy while encourging others to honor his memory through their dedication to civil rights.

MLK Statement about the New York Riots

Monday, July 27, 1964

Dr. Kind addresses the press' claim that civil rights leaders are involved in the outbreak of riots in New York. He says that violence creates more social problems than it solves. He says that government officials need to take responsibility and help all American citizens gain justice and equality.

MLK's Address at the University of the West Indies

Sunday, June 20, 1965

Dr. King spoke at the Valedictory Service of the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica in 1965. On his topic "Facing the Challenge of a New Age," Dr. King addresses the international movement towards peace and equality, stating that "the wind of change is blowing all over the world."

Address Before the United Packinghouse Workers of America

At their Thirteenth Constitutional Convention in Minneapolis on May 21, 1962, Dr. King praises the United Packinghouse Workers Union of America for their dedication to civil rights. He states that the civil rights and labor movements share in common a concern for minimum wages, social security, health benefits, decent housing, job security and retirement security. He thanks them for the aid that they have provided and encourages them to continue fighting for equality.

MLK Addresses the District 65 AFL-CIO

Saturday, September 8, 1962

This is an address given by Dr. King to District 65 of the National AFL-CIO Convention in Miami, Beach. Dr. King recognizes their contribution to the Southern Christen Leadership Conference.

A Message from Jail

Saturday, July 21, 1962

After being arrested and charged with parading without a license, Dr. King wrote a column from jail. The column shared his and Ralph David Abernathy's decision to serve the jail sentence instead of paying a fine of $178.

Statements on Jobs and Poverty

Friday, November 6, 1964

Dr. King explains the relationship between violence and the lack of employment among young people. Dr. King also speaks of the Thanksgiving Fast for Freedom and its efforts to end poverty and hunger.

MLK's Address About South Africa

Friday, December 10, 1965

Addressing the apartheid situation in South Africa, Dr. King states that white rulers of South Africa, rather than black Africans, are "modern day barbarians." He continues to say that although black South Africans are the majority, they are oppressed by the minority. This is one of many occasions that Dr. King parallels racial injustices and views civil rights as an international issue.

Statement Regarding Chicago Movement

Friday, December 2, 1966

Dr. King speaks about the Chicago Freedom Movement that is mobilizing to "launch an intensive voter registration" campaign in Negro communities. Dr. King states, "the ultimate goal of this drive is to add substantially to the voter registration and motivate the entire Negro community to participate in the political process."

I Have A Dream

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

Dr. King delivered the "I Have A Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. Along with Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address," it is considered to be one of the greatest speeches of all time.

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.

A Promising Day for the City of Selma

In this handwritten public statement, the author addresses the Negro citizens of Selma, Alabama by commending their efforts of non-violence during a one-thousand person demonstration for equal voting rights.

MLK's Gadsden, Alabama Rally Speech

Friday, June 21, 1963

This transcript of Dr. King's address during the Gadsden, Alabama Rally addresses the ills of segregation in the South. He professes that the accusation of civil rights demonstrations being responsible for creating tension is equivalent to blaming the act of robbery on the wealth of man.

Speech to SCLC Convention about Vietnam

Thursday, August 12, 1965

Dr. King makes one of his first public statements opposing the war in Vietnam during the SCLC Convention held in Birmingham. According to King, "Neither the American people nor the people of North Vietnam is the enemy. The true enemy is war itself, and people on both sides are trapped in its inexorable destruction."

African American Unity in Atlanta, Georgia

The author of this document discusses why it is imperative for African Americans to not only stand in unity against the injustices of society, but to also be informed about the issues in which they strive to prevail against. Information about school integration, housing discrimination, and taxation is offered in the conclusion of the document.

MLK's Annual Report to SCLC Convention

Friday, October 2, 1964

As President of the SCLC, Dr. King delivers his Annual Report to the Eighth Annual Convention in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to listing SCLC's many accomplishments over the past year, Dr. King urges his audience to stay resolute as their great progress creates a growing racial backlash from those opposed to the Civil Rights Movement.

I Have A Dream

This is an excerpt of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, as delivered at the March on Washington. The moderator asks Marion Anderson to sing, "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands."

Pathos and Hope

Saturday, March 3, 1962

Dr. King speaks about a trip to the Mississippi Delta where he first witnessed hope and pathos simultaneously.

MLK's Statement on Church Destruction in Leesburg, Georgia

Thursday, August 16, 1962

In this statement following the destruction of a church in Leesburg, Georgia, Dr. King argues that it was the action of somebody with the "strange illusion" that it would somehow stop African-Americans from seeking freedom and justice.

The Modern Negro Activist

Dr. King profiles the emergent young Negro civil rights activist who is college-educated, creative, brave and committed to the discipline of non-violence. He attributes the activist's diligence to a keen awareness that they inhabit a world on the cusp of positive social change and that they will have the privilege to direct that change. They are no longer to be an imitator of his white counterpart, but rather an initiator and leader in this new age.

The Role of the Church in the Nation's Chief Moral Dilemma

This handwritten draft represents the first part of Dr. King's address entitled, "The Role of the Church in Facing the Nation's Chief Moral Dilemma," delivered at the Conference on Christian Faith and Human Relations in 1957. Dr. King begins his address by discussing the scientific and technological advances that have taken place in America and how this progress has influenced economic growth. He asserts that this is the nation is dealing with a "chief moral dilemma."

MLK Statement Before the Credentials Committee of the DNC

Saturday, August 22, 1964

Dr. King addresses the Democratic National Committee urging them to stand up against the inequities that prevent Negro participation in the political process in the state of Mississippi.

MLK Announces The Jail Sentences Stemming from the 1963 Birmingham Demonstrations

Monday, October 30, 1967

Dr. King makes this statement regarding the arrest of himself and other leaders of the 1963 Birmingham struggle. The Supreme Court in 1967 ruled that these leaders unjustly broke the city wide injunction banning demonstrations. Dr. King urges the nation, "Take heed. Do not allow the Bill of Rights to become a prisoner of war."

Statement Before The Credentials Committee

Saturday, August 22, 1964

Dr. King makes a statement to the Democratic National Committee in an effort to persuade the the organization to recognize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party as a sitting, and voting, entity of the Democratic Party. Dr. King emphasizes that not only is the fabric of the Democratic National Party at stake, but representative government as it is known throughout the world.

Address by MLK to the National Press Club

Thursday, July 19, 1962

During an address to the National Press Club in Washington, Dr. King declares the time for racial justice has arrived.

Revolution In The Classroom

Friday, March 31, 1967

Dr. King addresses the Georgia Teachers and Education Association about the education of children in the South.

Manifesto of the Meredith Mississippi March

Dr. King, Stokely Carmichael, and Floyd McKissick sign the Manifesto of the Meredith Mississippi March, which represents a "public indictment and protest of the failure of American society." In solidarity, they demand courses of actions to deal with voting fraud, strengthened civil rights legislation, and impartial application of the law.