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"Speeches"

Another Opinion: I Oppose the War in Vietnam

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.

New York Mayor Wagner Remarks at Reception

Thursday, December 17, 1964

New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner honors Dr. King at a reception following a ceremony where he was presented the Medallion of Honor of the City of New York after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The Mayor especially commends Dr. King for his courageous leadership in nonviolence and the spirit of love, goodwill, and peacemaking that he brings to the struggle for racial justice.

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."

Address Given by Vice President Nixon in Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, April 30, 1957

This document contains the text of an address given by Vice President Richard Nixon at the Joint Defense Appeal of the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. He expresses what can be done and what laws should be passed to make sure others are not further abused.

Address by MLK at Golden Anniversary Conference of National Urban League

Tuesday, September 6, 1960

Dr. King gives an address at the National Urban Leagues's Golden Anniversary Conference in New York City. He speaks on the subject, "The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness" and discusses the Negroes new sense of "somebodiness." The factors that contribute to this new sense of dignity include a population shift from rural to urban life, rapid educational advance, gradual improvement of economic status, Supreme Court decisions outlawing segregation in the public schools, and awareness that freedom is a part of a world-wide struggle.

Draft Statement of Reverend Dr. MLK Jr.

This statement, not written in Dr. King's hand, responds to Joseph Alsop's syndicated column in the New York Herald Tribune. Dr. King clarifies that SCLC has no affiliation with the Communist Party. He also states the SCLC has not continued a relationship with Jack O'Dell since he was relieved of his responsibilities.

The American Dream

Sunday, February 10, 1963

This document contains the text of an address that Dr. King gave at Plymouth Church of The Pilgrims in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. King describes the steps that should be taken in order to make the American Dream a reality.

Statement by MLK Regarding His Five-Day Jail Sentence in Birmingham

Monday, October 30, 1967

Dr. King releases a statement regarding his return to Birmingham, Alabama to serve a five-day jail sentence. He states that he is happy to serve the sentence, but sad that the Supreme Court did not "uphold the rights of individual citizens." He also questions why the United States' resources are being used to fund the Vietnam War rather than to help the poor.

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.

Non-Violent Procedures to Inter-Racial Harmony

Tuesday, October 16, 1956

In this early speech to a NY Universalists' convention, Dr. King lays out his nonviolence method, based on Gandhi's. He outlines five of the six principles he will use later. They are: active, courageous resistance; winning the moral conversion of the opponent, not defeating him; attacking the forces of evil, rather than the persons doing evil; using love to avoid "internal violence of the spirit"; and faith in the inclination of the universe towards justice.

Excerpts from The Negro and the American Dream

Sunday, September 25, 1960

In this address to the Charlotte, North Carolina branch of the NAACP, Dr. King outlines five actions that Negroes must address in order to ensure their own first-class citizenship.

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.

MLK Memorandum: Plans for Selma, Alabama

Tuesday, January 19, 1965

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

March on Washington Address by Eugene Carson Blake

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

Rev Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, Vice Chairman of the Commission on Religion and Race of the National Council of Churches, addresses the March on Washington. He states that if all the clergy and church members he represents and all of the Roman Catholics and Jews in America were marching for jobs and freedom for Negroes, the battle for civil rights would be won. Despite the pronouncements of the religious community, the churches and society are still segregated. “Late, late we come,” he says, and in a repentant and reconciling spirit.

Statement Before the Credentials Committee Democratic National Committee

Saturday, August 22, 1964

Dr. King makes a plea to the Democratic National Committee to provide a delegate from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party so that there may be equal representation within the state. Dr. King's feels that by providing a delegate it may discontinue the prevention of political participation of African Americans in Mississippi.

School Desegregation 10 Years Later

Thursday, May 7, 1964

Dr. King says that there have been few strides made in school desegregation. He says that schools that comply with the desegregation laws do it at an appalling slow pace. Lastly, he says that although there needs to be more progress in both the north and the south, he has hope for the future.

The Chicago Freedom Movement: MLK Address

Friday, December 2, 1966

In this statement, Dr. King speaks on behalf of the Chicago Freedom Movement. Dr. King provides details concerning the overall mission, leadership and the predicated involvement of community organizations and participants.

Calvin Kytle to Head Information Center for Urban America

This press release revelas that Calvin Kytle will head a new national information center for Urban American, Inc.

Methodist Church Statement on Vietnam Conflict

The Board of Christian Social Concerns of the Methodist Church releases a statement regarding the conflict in Vietnam and possible outcomes and solutions. The board urges steps leading to a withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam.

Address by MLK to American Jewish Committee

Thursday, May 20, 1965

In this speech, Dr. King addresses the Civil Rights Movement and the use of nonviolent demonstration tactics. He distinguishes between civil disobedience, which involves breaking laws that one does not agree with, and nonviolent demonstration, which involves using one's right to protest. He states that nonviolent protest is inherently American, citing examples from the Civil War, the Suffragettes, and the American Jewish Committee's own lobbying from the early 20th Century.

Statement on CORE Supportive Action Against Variety Chain Store Discrimination in the South

Sunday, February 12, 1961

The Congress of Racial Equality issues a statement regarding economic boycotts of chain stores in the North that have segregated stores in the South. These boycotts are in support of desegregation efforts in the South.

MLK Notes for Speech to the Chicago Headline Club

This is a draft of a speech Dr. King delivered to the Chicago Headline Club. The speech encompasses information regarding the difficulty the media may have covering the SCLC and the Civil Rights Movement.

Draft of Statement by MLK on his Involvement With the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Dr. King wishes to clarify his endorsement of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. He states that he did not mean to imply that there was a civil rights issue in the "collective bargaining election," but rather that he admires the accomplishments of the labor movement.

MLK Speech: Acceptance of Spingarn Medal

Friday, June 28, 1957

Dr. King addresses the attendees at the NAACP 48th Annual Convention in Detroit, Michigan. He acknowledges the noble men and women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott Movement, for which his leadership earned him this award. Dr. King also discusses the ongoing struggle for civil rights and the nonviolent approach needed for the American Negro to win freedom and justice.

MLK Statement Regarding Desegregation

Thursday, May 24, 1962

Dr. King discusses the end of the Old South and segregation. He lists urbanization, federal intervention and the unrest of Negroes as key ingredients in breaking down the old system.

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.

MLK Press Statement After Receiving Nobel Prize

Thursday, December 17, 1964

Dr. King issued this statement to the press upon return from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. In addition to declaring how he plans to distribute his prize winnings, Dr. King discusses the progress of the Civil Rights Movement.

MLK on the Seating of Julian Bond

Wednesday, January 12, 1966

Georgia State Legislature has refused to seat Representative-Elect Julian Bond. Dr. King expresses his disdain for the social injustice. His plan of action is to combat this prejudice by rallying members of the white and black community to engage in protest.

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.