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"Speeches"

SCLC Press Release About Telegram to Robert Kennedy

Washington, D.C., Mississippi (MS), Greenwood, MS

The SCLC issues a press release, which discloses the text of telegram from Dr. King to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

Desegregation and the Future

Saturday, December 15, 1956
Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL

This document contains the first eight pages of Dr. King's address at the annual luncheon of the National Committee for Rural Schools at New York's Commodore Hotel in 1956. In it, he condemns segregation as an evil which has been allowed to exist in American life for too many decades. Dr. King points out that many states now stand in opposition to desegregation, and the federal government and the Supreme Court must now face how to make this new legislation a reality.

I Have A Dream

Alabama (AL), Mississippi (MS), Georgia (GA), Colorado (CO), New York (NY), Pennsylvania (PA), New Hampshire (NH), California (CA), Tennessee (TN), Louisiana (LA)

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."

Transcript of MLK's Rally Speech in Yazoo City, Mississippi

Tuesday, June 21, 1966
Mississippi (MS), Atlanta, GA, Philadelphia, PA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Birmingham, AL, Georgia (GA), Alabama (AL)

In this transcript of Dr. King's speech to the citizens of Yazoo City, he addresses the issues of poverty and racism within the state. He explains that while Mississippi is a in a "terrible state," it can be improved through the use of the principles of nonviolence to help bring about social change.

Pathos and Hope

Mississippi (MS), Nashville, TN

Dr. King writes about his trip to the Mississippi Delta. He reflects on the resolve and spirit of the people, who despite all odds are fighting for social justice and change.

MLK Norway Radio Interview

Monday, November 9, 1964
Oslo, Norway, NORWAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, London, England, PAKISTAN, INDIA, CONGO / ZAIRE

Dr. King addresses the importance of the Chicago Adult Education Project and the impact it would have on the Lawndale community. Issues of discrimination, segregation, racism, and oppression have lead to constant riots and violence in this densely populated area. Dr. King submits the idea that, to cure the issue of the "ghetto", Americans and the government must work to eradicate the causes by offering better education, better housing, and fair wages instead of "anti-riot" legislation.

U.S. Vice Presidential Address

Friday, June 24, 1955
Washington, D.C.

These Excerpts from a Vice Presidential address made on June 24, 1955 boast the claim of moving all Americans closer to achieving the American Dream regardless of race, creed or color. The vice President lists five reasons for the success of the Eisenhower Administration in emproving equal opportunities for all Americans, including Negroes.

MLK's Statement on Endorsing a 1960 Presidential Candidate

Tuesday, November 1, 1960
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Dr. King states that the SCLC is a non-partisan organization and that he cannot endorse a political party or candidate. He then goes on to express gratitude for Senator Kennedy and Mayor Hartsfield for their continuous support and leadership.

Joint Statement on Violence in the Cities

Wednesday, July 26, 1967
Detroit, MI, Atlanta, GA, New Jersey (NJ), Georgia (GA), Michigan (MI), New York (NY), New York, NY

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."

The Modern Negro Activist

Montgomery, AL, GHANA, NIGERIA, KENYA, CONGO / ZAIRE, Alabama (AL), California (CA), Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts (MA)

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.

A Journey of Conscience

VIETNAM, CHINA, FORMER SOVIET UNION / USSR, Washington, D.C., SOUTH AFRICA, ALGERIA

In this draft of his 1967 speech, "A Journey of Conscience," Dr. King provides the many reasons he so strongly opposes the war in Vietnam. He writes of how he first felt it was important to remain silent, but gradually felt compelled to speak out, as the US made no initiatives toward peace. He points at that the war abroad takes away our focus on our problems at home, and we must "combine the fervor of the civil rights movement with the peace movement."

Outline of MLK's 1962 Address to NAACP

Montgomery, AL, Atlanta, GA

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 Remarks on Negro Press Week

Monday, February 10, 1958
FORMER SOVIET UNION / USSR, ALGERIA

In this transcribed radio address, Dr. King describes how future generations will remember the 20th century as a time where righteous people fought for social, economic, and political freedom. Dr. King also states that the African-American fight for true citizenship is not only a part of American heritage, but also the story of people everywhere who struggle for dignity and freedom. Dr. King made this radio address for Negro Press week a the request of Louisville Defender Editor and National Newspaper Publishers Association board member Frank Stanley.

MLK's Remarks at the World March Toward Human Rights Luncheon

Thursday, May 28, 1964
EGYPT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Albany, GA, Georgia (GA), Alabama (AL), Virginia (VA), Mississippi (MS)

This is a draft of remarks made by Dr. King to the World March Toward Human Rights Luncheon of the NAACP's Legal Education Defense Fund. The event took place at the Americana Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. King states that human rights involve two elements: recognition and opportunity. Dr. King proposes that the United States launch a Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.

Address by MLK at the 30th Anniversary of District 65

Wednesday, October 23, 1963
New York (NY), New York, NY

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.

Hungry Club Speech

Wednesday, May 10, 1967
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

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.

MLK Statement at Pacem In Terris II Convocation

Monday, May 29, 1967
Geneva, Switzerland, VIETNAM, THAILAND

Dr. King's introductory remarks at the Pacem In Terris II Convocation critiques the United States' involvement in Vietnam.

Hungry Club Speech

Wednesday, May 10, 1967
Atlanta, GA, THAILAND, CHINA, SOUTH AFRICA, New York (NY), SOUTH KOREA, Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Montgomery, AL, Selma, AL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

This document is a draft copy of Dr. King's Hungry Club Speech, in which he speaks on the subject "America's Chief Moral Dilemma." He states that the dilemma is "the means by which we live have out distanced the ends for which we live." Dr. King thoroughly discusses the three major evils that contribute to this dilemma: the evil of racism, the evil poverty, and the evil of war. He also discusses the progress of the Civil Rights Movement as it enters a new phase of fighting for "genuine equality."

A Look To The Future

Monday, September 2, 1957
Tennessee (TN), EGYPT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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 Address to District 65 of the AFL-CIO

Saturday, September 8, 1962
New York (NY), Florida (FL), Albany, GA, Little Rock, AR, Jackson, MS, Montgomery, AL, ITALY, GERMANY, FRANCE, JAPAN

Dr. King addresses District 65 of the AFL-CIO in Monticello, New York. He begins by expressing his appreciation to the AFL-CIO for their generous contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. He discusses the impact of the Albany Movement and segregation in the South. Dr. King makes the point that America refers to itself as a world leader, yet we are significantly behind other countries in social and welfare legislation.

MLK Speech at 4th Constitutional Convention - AFL-CIO

Monday, December 11, 1961
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Florida (FL), Louisiana (LA)

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.

The Kinship Between the Labor Unions and Negroes

Dr. King presents a speech at the United Auto Workers Convention in May 1961, which acknowledges the new challenges faced by factory workers because of technological advances that threaten to leave them jobless. He draws a parallel between the plight of auto workers and the Negro experiences of disenfranchisement in the US to highlight the potential for alliance between the two groups.

MLK Memorandum: Plans for Selma, Alabama

Tuesday, January 19, 1965
Selma, AL, Alabama (AL), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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

World's Fair "Stall-In"

Dr. King comments on a civil rights demonstration scheduled to be held at the World Fair. This united act is aimed to address Negro civil concerns in relation to unified housing, education, and employment.

MLK Statement on Libel Suit

Wednesday, July 14, 1965

Dr. King makes a public statement regarding a libel suit. He explains that he has been served papers but is not at liberty to comment.

Press Conference on Chicago Movement

Wednesday, July 7, 1965
Chicago, IL, Illinois (IL), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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.

MLK's Address at the Pilgrimage for Democracy

Sunday, December 15, 1963
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

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.

The Law and Civil Disobedience

Tuesday, August 23, 1960
Atlanta, GA, Connecticut (CT), London, England, Kentucky (KY), Georgia (GA), UNITED KINGDOM

Harris Wofford, a law professor and member of Senator John F. Kennedy's staff, discusses civil disobedience and its relationship to the law at the student association of Notre Dame Law School. He advocates in favor of civil disobedience using the theories of Thoreau, Socrates, Gandhi and others to support the need to break unjust laws. Dr. King pens handwritten questions on the top of this document pertaining to the changing of unjust laws in the courts.

Another Opinion: I Oppose the War in Vietnam

VIETNAM, Baltimore, MD, Chicago, IL

This column contains excerpts from an address given by Dr. King in Chicago, in which he expresses his concerns regarding the Vietnam War and how it will affect poverty in America.

Statement Before the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee

Saturday, August 11, 1956
Montgomery, AL, Alabama (AL)

Dr. King addresses the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee. He calls for strong federal action in the South to prevent violence and to uphold the decisions of the Supreme Court pertaining to the end of segregation.