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"Speeches"

MLK Remarks at The World March Toward Human Rights Luncheon

Thursday, May 28, 1964

Dr. King addresses the 25th anniversary of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Dr. King delivers remarks honoring the work of the Fund in combating the system of racial segregation and striving for human rights. He advocates the need for current civil rights legislation, but finds congressional hesitation frustrating and problematic. Referencing the 1964 Civil Right's Act, King is convinced that if the bill is not passed, the "nation will drift toward its moral and political doom."

Pilgrimage for Democracy

Sunday, December 15, 1963

Dr. King makes an address at the "Pilgrimage for Democracy" in Atlanta during the winter of 1963. He opens with the Supreme Courts ruling to cease segregation in schools and how Atlanta served as the "epitome of social progress." He continues to elaborate on how the city needs to continue its desegregation efforts to achieve justice. Dr. King numerically highlights the inadequacies of the integrated schools in Atlanta and expresses the reality of the continuing segregation in the city's public accommodations.

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.

Thoughts on Nobel Prize

Dr. King uses a statement by Mahalia Jackson and the philanthropy of Sir Alfred Nobel to encapsulate the purpose of the Civil Rights Movement. Jackson refers to the racial problems in America as "family business," but Dr. King believes that in order for man to become a brotherhood, society has to search for truth like Alfred Nobel.

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.

MLK Memorandum: Plans for Selma, Alabama

Tuesday, January 19, 1965

Dr. King outlines his plan for civil rights goals in Selma, Alabama.

Ebenezer Church Bulletin and President Kennedy's Eulogy

Sunday, November 24, 1963

This is an Ebenezer Baptist Church bulletin expressing appreciation for the congregation's various acts of kindness toward one another. On the opposite side of the bulletin, an outline can be found for a memorial speech for the late President Kennedy.

MLK Interview on NBC's Meet the Press

Sunday, March 28, 1965

This edition of NBC's Meet the Press featured Dr. King for a discussion concerning the Civil Rights Movement and its demonstrations. The interview was moderated by Ned Brooks and the panel featured John Chancellor, James J. Kilpatrick, Tom Wicker and Lawrence E. Spivak.

Movement for Puerto Rican Independence

Pedro Juan Rua, a leader in the Movement for Puerto Rican Independence, gives a speech concerning the American military presence in Vietnam. He provides a historical framework for understanding America's involvement with other oppressed nations, asserting "U.S. rulers are new Nazis. Unite to defeat them."

Address by MLK at the 30th Anniversary of District 65

Wednesday, October 23, 1963

This document, an address given by Dr. King on the 30th anniversary of District 65, includes handwritten notes. In the address, Dr. King talks about the importance of the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation to human rights.

MLK's Weekend Itinerary

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

Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Friday, December 11, 1964

On December 11, 1964, Dr. King delivered his Nobel lecture at the University of Oslo. Aware of the prestigious nature of the award and the global recognition for the nonviolent struggle to eradicate racial injustice in the U.S., King worked nearly a month on this address. He went far beyond his dream for America and articulated his vision of a World House in which a family of different races, religions, ideas, cultures and interests must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools. For citations, go to Dr. King's lecture at nobleprize.org.

Address for the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights

Thursday, May 17, 1962

This address was delivered by Dr. King at the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights event on May 17, 1962. Dr. King opens by discussing various anniversaries that coincide with the event and represent similar struggles for justice including the Supreme Court school desegregation ruling, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Henry David Thoreau's death.

Statement Before the Credentials Committee by MLK

Saturday, August 22, 1964

In this statement before the Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Committee, Dr. King urges that the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party be seated and recognized at the convention. Dr. King declares that the Democratic Party in Mississippi itself is unjust and vows to keep black Mississippians off of the voting rolls. Dr.King uses the analogy of how can we as Americans preach "freedom and democracy" in Africa and Asia, yet refuse to provide its own citizens with such rights.

Nobel Prize Atlanta Dinner Address Outline

Wednesday, January 27, 1965

Dr. King outlines his address for the January 27, 1965 recognition dinner honoring him for the Nobel Peace Prize. He intends to speak on topics of racial justice, nonviolence and poverty, while discussing the strides made by the movement and the uphill battles still to be faced. Over 1000 people attended the program, the first integrated dinner in Atlanta's history.

The Wind of Change is Blowing

Wednesday, June 27, 1962

Dr. King addresses the positive changes that have taken place across the world and how they should continue to occur until equality is reached.

Statement to SCLC Board About Alabama Boycotts

Friday, April 2, 1965

In this statement, Dr. King explains the need for a boycott of the state of Alabama because of extreme violence and police overreaction, which he calls "totalitarian."

Press Conference on Chicago Movement

Wednesday, July 7, 1965

Dr. King shares his acceptance of the invitation to spend some time in Chicago. During his time in Chicago, Dr. King and other SCLC leaders plan to assist local civil rights organizations in organizing rallies throughout the city.

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."

Introduction of Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Monday, August 8, 1966

Dr. King introduces Senator Edward M. Kennedy at a SCLC banquet and highlights his accomplishments.

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.

Address to the Montgomery Improvement Association

Monday, December 5, 1955

Dr. King discusses the inequality in America and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He says that he will work to eliminate discrimination in Montgomery and he encourages the audience to participate and actively seek change as well.

Draft of MLK Response to the Establishment of a Bi-Racial Commission in Saint Augustine, Florida

This is a draft of a response for Dr. King to make regarding the establishment of a bi-racial commission in St. Augustine, Florida to address the issues of equality, human dignity and racial justice.

MLK's Crawfordville, Georgia Speech

Monday, October 11, 1965

Dr. King rallies the people to keep pushing forward with nonviolent actions to gain freedom and dignity as human beings.

Draft of Speech for SCLC in Nashville

Dr. King is outlining a speech he later presented to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Nashville.

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.

Our Struggle

Dr. King drafts this speech entitled "Our Struggle" for the April 1956 publication of Liberation. Dr. King discusses how both whites and blacks have internalized a caste system that perpetuates Negroes as inferior beings. He speculates that racial peace is maintained in the caste system due to harsh discrimination and a loss of faith in the black community. Dr. King states that the shift in race relations, and subsequent tension, occurred when Negroes "began to re-evaluate themselves," finding self-respect and dignity.

A Challenge to the Churches and Synagogues

Dr. King expresses concern for the religious institutions of America. His concern is centered on the obligation that churches and synagogues have to advance civil rights and desegregation, while he goes on to reveal the parallels and connections between religion and society's values.

Draft of Speech to the National Press Club

Thursday, July 19, 1962

Dr. King's speech to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. was delivered a week after he was incarcerated in Albany, Georgia. This draft shows Dr. King's notes on his address about the Civil Rights Movement.

MLK's Remarks on Conference with the President

Monday, June 23, 1958

Dr. King provides the perspective he shared at a meeting held by the President with leaders from the white and Negro community discussing civil rights. His speech includes several steps to reach equality across the US.