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Mr. Ferguson invites Dr. King to be the commencement speaker for the 1968 graduating class of Berkeley High School in Williamsburg, Virginia. The school can only afford $150 for a speaker, but he feels Dr. King's presence would make a great impact on the student body.
In this letter, Dr. King thanks Mrs. Saul S. Sherman for her contribution to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He writes how monumental the change for Negroes in the South has been in the last ten years and how revolutionary the future will be thanks to her generous donation.
The Ad Hoc Committee for Good Government of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, issued this letter to Rev. Ralph Abernathy requesting his assistance. Director of Political Action for the committee, J. W. Augustus, informed Rev. Abernathy of attempts by white city parish commissioners to buy the votes belonging to Negro political organizations.
S. Leiss sent Dr King this satement regarding a payment for the Dutch rights to "Why We Can't Wait".
C.G. Gomillion writes Dr. Randolph Blackwell requesting reimbursement for paying the bail to release SCLC driver Walter Franklin. Franklin was arrested and released in Tuskegee, but was arrested again in Selma because the SCLC failed to pay his fine.
Jimmie Johnson writes to Dr. King to say that while he is a Negro, he does not believe in integration. Johnson does not think there will ever be enough jobs in America for Negroes, and therefore argues for segregation. He asks Dr. King to share this view in his upcoming meeting with President Johnson.
This transcript of a passionate, poetic, and inspiring speech touches on many of King's motifs. It starts with an appeal for voting rights, addresses the despair the audience feels from time to time, and ends with a refrain of "we shall overcome."
Dr. King examines the "author's philosophy of history" recorded in the biblical text Ecclesiastes 1:9. He notes that Ecclesiastes' view of history as "a series of endless cycles which has no underlying theology" is in stark contrast to general Bible philosophy, and is more in line with a Greek view of history.
An early foreshadowing of his nonviolent philosophy, Dr. King advises Negroes of a particular course of action they should adhere to in order to properly equip themselves to combat racial injustice. Seeking to avoid both complacency and hostility, he challenges those who desire self-satisfaction, as well as those who seek to pacify their oppressors, by proposing the idea of one having both a tough mind and a tender heart.
Dr. King receives this telegram from Mr. Heiskell and Mr. Randolph regarding the newly appointed chief executive of the National Urban Coalition.
Paul Shields, the News Director of CBS Television in Atlanta, writes to Dr. King to lodge a complaint against the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's press department. He states that press conferences convened by the SCLC rarely begin on time.
Irene M. Kohlmeyer, Program Director of WBJC radio at Baltimore Junior College, asks Dr. King for his permission to rebroadcast the transcription of a Phi Beta Kappa address he gave at Johns Hopkins University.
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.
James H. Duckrey, President of Cheyney State College, writes Dr. King asking him to serve as the Commencement Speaker. He briefly discusses the history of the college and informs Dr. King of the Honorarium.
The "Centre Catholique des Intellectuels Francais" is an organization focused on raising the consciousness levels of its members through public conferences, debates, and discussions. Rene Remond informs Dr. King that they have enclosed additional information to prepare him on the discussion involving Christians and violence.
Melvin Brisk, President of Quadrangle Books, requests that Dr. King read Clarence Darrow's book "Verdicts Out of Court." Brisk acknowledges Dr. King's limited time schedule and urges him to pursue a meeting with Darrow to discuss his publication.
Dr. King responds to Glenn Greenwood's letter thanking him for his suggestion regarding the Pentagon directive "in relation to Armed Forces personnel participation in civil rights demonstrations."
In this letter to U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Kstzenbech, Grenville Clark requests a reply to Dr. King's "devastating" public statement in the New York Times about proper enforcement of the 1965 voting rights law.
Charles William Butler, Pastor of New Cavalry Baptist Church, informs Dr. King that he will not be present at a board meeting. The lateness of the invitation and his involvement in Detroit, Michigan prevent his attendance.