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"Speeches"

Address by Rabbi Joachim Prinz

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

Rabbi Joachim Prinz's address at the March on Washington focuses on the importance of freedom. He relates the struggle that blacks are currently enduring to the Nazism Jews faced during the reign of Hitler.

Statement to SCLC Board: Alabama Movement

Friday, April 2, 1965

Dr. King discusses the various issues within the State of Alabama. Dr. King and the SCLC have maintained leadership in the Alabama Movement and have proposed a plan to continue the acts of nonviolence.

I've Been To The Mountaintop

Wednesday, April 3, 1968

Dr. King delivers the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech at the Masonic Temple in Memphis, TN.

MLK to the Second Precinct Clergymen's Association

Thursday, March 26, 1964

Dr. King gives a statement to the Second Precinct Clergymen's Association in Washington, D. C. regarding voter registration and the Civil Rights Movement. King asserts, "I understand that voter registration here has reached a mark just short of 170,000."

Statement by Roy Wilkins to Congress

Thursday, January 12, 1967

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights adopted this statement by Roy Wilkins, Chairman, for the opening of the 1967 Congressional session. Their agenda includes full compliance with all existing civil rights legislation, equality and justice in the courts, greater protection for those who exercise their civil rights, and an end to housing discrimination. Wilkins states that economic and social conditions must be created so that civil rights guaranteed by law can be realized.

President Kennedy's Stand on Negotiation in Albany

In this statement made from the Albany, Georgia city jail where he was imprisoned, Dr. King expresses appreciation for President Kennedy's support of negotiation between Albany's City Commission and civil rights leaders.

Address to AFL-CIO New York City District 65

Dr. King speaks to the District 65 AFL-CIO to address the importance of job opportunities in the northern and southern regions of the United States. He explains that the labor movement must stay active in order to gain civil rights and equal pay for African American workers.

Why We Chose Jail Rather than Bail

Dr. King cites seven reasons for choosing jail not bail. Among them is that ?the highest expression of nonviolence is self suffering.?

MLK's Public Statement Regarding Julian Bond

Tuesday, January 12, 1965

Dr. King expresses his indignation for the State Legislatures refusal to seat Representative-Elect Julian Bond. Dr. King asserts that there are obvious racial overtones in the State Legislatures decisions since Mr. Bond received 82 percent of the votes in his district. Dr. King will commence direct action due to the state of urgency.

MLK Statement on Voter Registration

Dr. King urges the African American community to register and vote. He outlines the importance of voting by making historcial references relevant to the community.

Jenner School Parents

Wednesday, April 20, 1966

Presented here is a rough draft of an address delivered by Dr. King to the parents of Jenner Elementary school located in Chicago, Ill. Dr. King advises a plan to counteract deplorable school conditions as well as the misappropriation of tax dollars.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

This is a draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Handwritten notes are written in the margins to indicate future amendments. Dr. King states that he experiences this moment of acceptance for himself and "those magnificent devotees of nonviolence who have moved so courageously against the ramparts of racial injustice."

MLK Address at the 53rd National Convention of the NAACP

Thursday, July 5, 1962

This document is Dr. King's address to the 53rd Annual Convention of the NAACP in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King discusses the following myths in this address: time will solve all problems, education can only solve problems of racial conflict, the Negro vote can do little to alter present conditions, and the practice of nonviolence is ineffective. Dr. King also speaks on "disunity," and states "the law may not make a man love me, but it may keep him from lynching me."

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.

MLK Press Conference in NYC

Thursday, December 14, 1967

Dr. King speaks at a Press Conference to expresses his support for the boycotts occurring around the nation. He also stands in affirmation with the Olympic athletes who chose not to participate in the games due to the civil injustice taking place in America.

MLK Address to the National Press Club

Thursday, July 19, 1962

Dr. King gives an address to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He discusses his recent conviction for marching in Albany, the economic status of the Negro, racial issues, communism, the church, and the practice of nonviolent resistance. He states that the church is the most segregated institution in America. Dr. King also states that racial issues are a national problem and that the goal of the Negro is 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.

Draft of I Have a Dream

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

This version of Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech reveals important changes to ideas and phrases that Dr. King chose either to alter or omit completely the day he addressed the throng gathered before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dr. King's argument against the "normalcy" of bigotry remained a key message on the day he took the podium.

Statement Upon Return to Montgomery

Dr. King reflects on his near death experience after Izola Ware Curry stabbed him with a letter opener at a book signing in New York City on September 20, 1958. Although Dr. King refers to Curry as a "deranged woman," he has "no bitterness towards her" and sees her actions only as a "reflection on the moral climate." Dr. King further states what he will remember most is the "vast outpouring of sympathy" that was received from all races and creeds.

The Future of Integration

Dr. King discusses "The Future of Integration." King opens with background history of three distinct periods of race relations. The first period extends from 1619 to 1862, the era of slavery. The next period extends from 1863 to 1954 when blacks were emancipated, but still segregated. The third period started on May 17, 1954 when segregation was deemed unconstitutional and integration commenced. Furthermore, Dr. King explains the changes that occurred as a result of integration and how it will affect blacks and whites in the future.

Public Statement at the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Wednesday, July 22, 1964

Dr. King speaks at a rally held for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Dr. King stresses the importance of government assistance in protecting African Americans citizens from violent actions when registering and voting during elections. In areas such as Mississippi where harassment and murders took place frequently, African Americans were in dire need of a political party that was free of racism so that they could fairly be represented in a prejudice society.

Statement by MLK

Friday, December 11, 1964

This document contains Dr. King's remarks on injustices in the state of Mississippi. He suggests a complete boycott if the federal or state government is unable to perform the proper means of justice.

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.

Proposed Nobel Speech

This is a draft for an optional version of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. He notes the importance of viewing the world as a family and with such perception, understands race issues as an international concern. King also speaks of Sir Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the originator of the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepts the award on behalf of those who came before him and those who continue to fight for freedom.

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."

MLK Address to the United Neighborhood Houses of New York

Tuesday, December 6, 1966

Dr. King addresses the United Neighborhood Houses of New York at the Biltmore Hotel. He focuses on the need to alter the ineffective, piecemeal manner in which the government tries to fight poverty by fighting its symptoms, and instead suggest that the government channel those funds into a new "guaranteed annual income" that will help turn non-producers into consumers. This rough draft of the speech contains Dr. King's handwritten revisions and additions.

Annual Address by MLK for the Montgomery Improvement Association

Thursday, December 3, 1959

This document outlines Dr. King's address for the Fourth Anniversary of the Montgomery Improvement Association, held at Bethel Baptist Church in Montgomery. In the address, Dr. King speaks about the history, achievements and current task of the Association.

MLK's Statement at Prayer Rally in Albany, Georgia

Wednesday, August 15, 1962

After the bombing of a local church, Dr. King delivered this statement attempting to both criticize the actions of the perpetrators and provide a sense of calm to Albany demonstrators.

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.

Draft of Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

This document is one draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Dr. King applauds the world for recognizing the American Civil Rights Movement and states that this award represents for him a "deepening commitment" to the philosophy of nonviolence.