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"Speeches"

One Vote for Every Man: Civil Rights Act

In this draft of an article for the March 1965 IUD Agenda, an AFL-CIO monthly publication, Dr. King recounts the progress made by the Civil Rights Movement and states that the issue in 1965 is the right to vote and the venue is Selma, Alabama. He discusses the pattern of exclusion, including the abuse of power by local sheriffs, illegal use of local and state laws, delay tactics of registrars, and literacy tests. He outlines measures that a Civil Rights Act of 1965 should include.

Senator Mark Hatfield Address on Vietnam

Thursday, March 16, 1967

In this address to the Harvard Young Republicans Club about the Vietnam War, Senator Mark O. Hatfield provides historical background on the conflict, defines the driving force of Ho Chi Minh as nationalism not Communism, and recounts the numerous times the U.S. has spurned overtures to negotiate a settlement. He proposes a political settlement after a suspension of bombing and de-escalation of the war. Hatfield first publicly opposed the Vietnam War as Governor of Oregon; he was the first prominent Republican to express opposition.

The Power of Nonviolence

Thursday, May 1, 1958

Dr. King delivers this address to the YMCA and YWCA in the Bay Area of California. The power of nonviolence is discussed being intertwined with the knowledge of agape, love and maladjustment. Agape can be defined as an understanding of the redemptive good will of all men. In relation to maladjustment, Dr. King explains how he never intended to adjust himself to segregation and discrimination. Dr. King expounds on how justice strengthened the Montgomery movement. He further explains how the powerful influence of love is a significant factor in the practice of nonviolence.

Address at a Conference of Religious Leaders Under the Sponsorship of the President's Committee on Government Contracts

Monday, May 11, 1959

Dr. King addresses a delegation of religious leaders at a conference hosted by the President's Committee on Government Contracts. In this pivotal speech, Dr. King outlines the responsibilites of clergymen and government officials in combating poverty and economic discrimination. He stresses the need for lay leaders and representatives of government to bodly speak out against the vestiges of discrimination that continuously hinder the economic and social progress of Negroes in America.

Press Release on School Integration of Taliaferro County, Georgia

Thursday, October 14, 1965

This press release by Dr. King commends the decision of the three-judge panel on the decision of school integration.

Unitarian Universalist Statement of Consensus on Racial Injustice

Friday, May 20, 1966

The Fifth General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association listed several laws adopted by the association. Some of the laws incorporate civil rights, demonstrations, voting rights, equality, civil disobedience, and discrimination in employment and housing.

Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy's Statement Following MLK's Assasination

Sunday, April 7, 1968

Rev. Abernathy acknowledges the deep pain and anger those in SCLC feel at the senseless taking of Dr. King’s life. They pledge that his work and commitment to nonviolence will continue. They are as much against violence, says Abernathy, as they are against racial and economic injustice. He announces that Mrs. King will join him in leading a march in Memphis in support of the sanitation workers and that the Poor People’s Campaign will proceed. He calls upon Congress to respond to the major loss represented by Dr.

Speech to the Synagogue Council of America

Sunday, December 5, 1965

Dr. King receives the Judaism and World Peace Award from the Synagogue Council of America and uses the occasion to speak about the Civil Rights Movement and international peace. He laments the vehement criticism of dissent and discussion of the Vietnam War and enumerates reasons why the Hebrew prophets are so needed today.

Draft of Speech for SCLC in Nashville

Dr. King is outlining a speech he later presented to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Nashville.

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.

Text of Speech Delivered at Lincoln Memorial

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

This speech, given by Dr. King at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C, brings attention to the current state of oppression of Negro men and women in 1963.

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.

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.

Statement by Albert Raby Responding to Attack on MLK by Ernest Rather

Albert Raby responds to questions by Ernest Rather about Dr. King's statistics related to Negro housing conditions. He explains that Dr. King's facts were taken from the 1960 census, which he contrasts with statistics from the Department of Urban Renewal.

MLK Norway Radio Interview

Monday, November 9, 1964

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.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

Thursday, December 10, 1964

In 1964, Dr. King became the first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At age 35, he was also the youngest recipient of the award to date. Emphasizing a philosophy of nonviolence, Dr. King writes this acceptance speech commemorating the courageous work of the Civil Rights Movement. He highlights the brutality faced throughout the United States and addresses the irony of accepting a peace prize on behalf of a movement that has yet to obtain peace.

A Message from Jail

Saturday, July 21, 1962

After being arrested and charged with parading without a license, Dr. King wrote a column from jail. The column shared his and Ralph David Abernathy's decision to serve the jail sentence instead of paying a fine of $178.

Our Struggle

Dr. King drafts this speech entitled "Our Struggle" for the April 1956 publication of Liberation. Dr. King discusses how both whites and blacks have internalized a caste system that perpetuates Negroes as inferior beings. He speculates that racial peace is maintained in the caste system due to harsh discrimination and a loss of faith in the black community. Dr. King states that the shift in race relations, and subsequent tension, occurred when Negroes "began to re-evaluate themselves," finding self-respect and dignity.

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.?

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.

Remarks by MLK at the Freedom House Annual Dinner

Tuesday, November 26, 1963

Dr. King expresses his appreciation for being honored by Freedom House. He also pays tribute to the life and work of John F. Kennedy while encourging others to honor his memory through their dedication to civil rights.

Statement by MLK

Monday, March 4, 1968

Dr. King warns the United States about the possibility of downfall should the federal government fail to change its policies. He sets a date for the SCLC to go to Washington D.C. and lead nonviolent demonstrations with the purpose of eradicating racism and poverty in America.

The Casualties of The War In Vietnam

Saturday, February 25, 1967

Dr. King speaks on behalf of the United States presence in Vietnam at a symposium held in Los Angeles, California. He addresses the moral, social, and political causalities that arise as result of war. Moreover, he urges the powers that be to allocate resources for good and rather than evil.

Retirement Speech from MLK to Dr. Benjamin E. May

Dr. King honors Dr. Mays for serving as the President of Morehouse College as he enters into retirement.

Seventh Annual Gandhi Memorial Lecture

Sunday, November 6, 1966

Howard University presents Dr. King as its primary speaker for their seventh annual Gandhi Memorial Lecture in 1966. Dr. King traces the slow but meaningful progress society has made from slavery to the current civil rights movement. However, he notes that the present challenges in achieving equality involve not only the silence of individuals of good will but also the conditons that keep the Negro inferior.

Press Statement by MLK About President Johnson's Address on Selma

Tuesday, March 16, 1965

Dr. King lauds President Johnson's speech to a joint session of Congress, which he describes as an eloquent, unequivocal and passionate plea for human rights. This statement and the President's address occurred during the height of the Selma voting rights campaign.

Statement by the President of the Montgomery Improvement Association

Thursday, December 20, 1956

As the President of Montgomery Improvement Association, Dr. King elaborates on the past twelve months and the city's efforts to fight against racial injustice through the bus boycott. Their journey concluded victoriously with the acknowledgment of the Supreme Court that invalidated segregated transportation. Dr. King informs the Montgomery community that they are to "return to the buses" on a "non-segregated basis."

Statement by Reverend Jesse Jackson

Wednesday, August 16, 1967

Reverend Jesse Jackson gives a report regarding SCLC's Operation Breadbasket. Reverend Jackson states, "There are no riotous fires set aflame in this country that can be put out with water from a rubber hose; the flames must be extinguished by money from an economic hose."

Dr. Paul Arthur Scilpp Speech in Illinois

In this address delivered before the National Assembly for Progress in Equality of Opportunity in Housing, Dr. Paul Arthur Schilpp speaks about equality between races, "pure" race, and voting rights for Negroes.

Speech to the Freedom Riders

Sunday, May 21, 1961

King delivered this speech, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1961, at a rally to support the Freedom Riders. King encourages them to maintain postures and attitudes of non-violence in the face of violent responses to their actions and resistance. He assures them that while they will experience a "season of suffering," the moral rightness of their cause will prevail.