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Social Ethics

Dr. King refers to Micah 3:9-12, saying the prophet condemns the love of money of civil and religious leaders. King wonders whether religious leaders today should be paid for their work and concludes that money should never be a priority over service.

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

Sunday, August 30, 1959

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.

SCLC Report: Operation Breadbasket

Rev. Fred C. Bennette, Jr. writes a report on Operation Breadbasket. Rev. Bennette "hopes to increase its activity in alleviating the economic plight of the Negro in America." At the culmination of the report, he lists the main cities where the project will be implemented.

The Bible

Dr. King records notes regarding Protestant Orthodoxy and its great error in dealing with the Bible.

Catholicism

Dr. King references American theologian Niebuhr's ideas regarding Catholicism and quotes, "It pretended that the church could mediate the divine, mercy and judgement without itself standing under that judgement or requiring that mercy." This quotes derives from Niebuhr's book "The Pope's Domesticated God."

Letter from John Harman and L. C. Nixon to MLK

Tuesday, March 19, 1968

Mr. Harman and Mr. Nixon write to Dr. King regarding the misrepresentation of the SCLC by staff member, Golden Frinks.

Category Time

Dr. King outlines Paul Tillich's view on time.

Letter from Ernest M. Bettenson to Dora McDonald

Tuesday, September 19, 1967

Ernest M. Bettenson, the Registrar at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, writes Miss McDonald to solidify arrangements for Dr. King's visit to the University. The sender informs Miss McDonald that tradition mandates meal arrangements for the recipient of an honorary degree and outlines several options to assist Dr. King in accommodating this practice.

Those Attending Breakfast with MLK

List of attendees for a breakfast meeting at Cornell University in Ithaca (NY) when Dr. King was on campus to deliver his sermon, "Three Dimensions of a Complete Life."

The Church

Dr. King writes a note on the Church, calling it the "center of hope."

MLK Draft Text Retrieved by T.D. Johnston

The document is a dedication from T. D. Johnston of Huntsville, Alabama to the King Center. Mr. Johnston acknowledges being on an Eastern Airline plane with Dr. King in 1961, where he noticed that Dr. King tossed a speech text that he found. He decided to hold on to the document for preservation and donated it to the King Center. Martin Luther King, III received the document on behalf of the King Center.

Social Philosophy

Dr. King quotes Paul Tillich’s “Systematic Theology.”

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.

Letter of Appreciation from MLK to Beverly A. Asbury

Wednesday, February 28, 1968

In this letter Dr. King expresses gratitude to Rev. Beverly Asbury for her contribution to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He stresses the importance of supporters' contributions in order to successfully continue the initiative toward unity, justice, and equality.

Letter from Pierre C. Armand to MLK

Monday, April 1, 1968

Mr. Armand writes Dr. King concerning the goals of The Haitian Community Center in New York City. The Center attempts to institute programming in order to alleviate the various difficulties of the Haitian community. Mr. Armand also invites Dr. King to speak at a distinguished event as an honorary guest.

Letter from SNCC's Dorothy Miller to MLK

Monday, March 25, 1963

Dorothy Miller of SNCC writes Dr. King informing him of the arson attempt at the SNCC office and thanks him for a previous correspondence regarding the case of Bob Zellner.

Letter to the Federal Housing Commissioner from MLK

Tuesday, November 7, 1967

This document is a Federal Housing Administration application from Dr. King concerning one of his many housing programs.

Letter from Apuyva J. Mehta to MLK

Monday, October 2, 1967

Written on the day of Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, Mehta requests Dr. King's autograph.

Highlander Reports: Black Power in Mississipi

In this newsletter, the writers speak about various issues concerning African Americans and their discrimination in politics.

SCLC Constituent to Rev. Abernathy

Thursday, May 2, 1968

This letter, originating from New York City in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination, is from a supporter who is inquiring about the purchase of items relating to Dr. King's correspondence.

MLK Lauds Roy Wilkins for His Work with the NAACP

Wednesday, January 3, 1962

Dr. King honors Roy Wilkins for not only his efforts in the NAACP, but also his efforts in the Civil Rights Movement.

Letter from James H. Scheuer to MLK

Tuesday, September 21, 1965

James H. Scheuer, a representative of the United States Congress, informs Dr. King about the dismissal of the Mississippi challenge. Despite this action, Scheuer asserts that the attention received is a victory within itself. He concludes by stating "We must all work together to insure maximum enforcement of the Voting Rights Bill".

Telegram from MLK to the Fairmont Hotel

Saturday, September 16, 1967

Dr. King writes to the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco California, requesting a reservation of two single rooms.

Man

Dr. King highlights Arnobius' views on man. According to Arnobius, "Men are sadly ignorant and know very little about the universe in which they live."

Letter from James Degener to MLK

Wednesday, February 23, 1966

Lutheran Church youth advisor James Degener asks that Dr. King assist him in showing a group of teenagers life around the dilapidated side of Chicago. Degener's goal is to expose the young people to the crippling and tragic conditions of the inner city. At the time of this correspondence, Dr. King and SCLC were in the midst of an open housing campaign in Chicago, known as the Chicago Freedom Movement.

Letter from Maynard Gertler to MLK

Wednesday, November 13, 1963

Maynard Gertler writes Dr. King requesting a copy of his speech given during the March on Washington. Additionally Gertler requests speeches by Baynard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph. Gertler also mentions that he was present when Dr. King spoke in Montreal last year.

Outline Written in MLK's Handwriting Entitled: Be Ye Perfect

The document, shown here, is a combination of a handwritten outline and notes for the preparation of a sermon. Under the title, "Be Ye Perfect", Dr. King described Jesus, in relation to rational and moral perfection.

Dr. King recounts civil rights struggle in Albany, Georgia

Monday, August 20, 1962

Dr. King recounts the civil rights struggle in Albany, Georgia. Every element of the community participated in mass demonstrations protesting discrimination in public spaces, school segregation, denial of voting rights, and the deprivation of freedom of speech and assembly. King explains the purpose and use of nonviolent methodologies as "resistance to injustice and non-cooperation with evil." He describes several examples of direct action and the building of political strength.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Rabbi Irving J. Block

Monday, May 16, 1966

Dora McDonald requests Rabbi Irving J. Block contact Stanley Levison, Dr. King's attorney in New York City.

Letter from Gitta Gossman to Dora McDonald

Friday, February 26, 1965

Gitta Gossman forwards Ms. McDonald two copies of the contract for the Dutch-language edition of "Why We Can't Wait" for Dr. King's signature.