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"Speeches"

Birmingham Desegregation Settlement Agreement

Friday, May 10, 1963

Dr. King reviews the settlement made between the City of Birmingham and civil rights protesters. This agreement includes the integration of lunch counters, sitting rooms, restrooms, and water fountains within ninety days.

We Return to Birmingham Jail to Bear Witness

On his way to turn themselves in to Birmingham jail again in 1967, Dr. King writes this article in longhand, asserting the purposes of the civil rights activists' civil disobedience. Their unjust incarceration, he states, will allow them to bear witness to an unjust justice system, from Bull Connor's dogs to the US Supreme Court. The Court had just issued a decision supporting Connor's injunction forbidding the protests of the Birmingham campaign, which had led to his first incarceration there in 1963.

Thoughts on Nobel Prize

This draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech lends recognition to the nonviolent practices of those engaged in the fight for equality and civil rights.

MLK on Danville and the Problem of Violence

Friday, July 12, 1963

Dr. King discusses his perception of the nonviolent movement, and how the leadership maintains control even though minimal violent outbreaks may occur.

United Auto Workers Convention Speech

Monday, May 1, 1961

Dr. King delivered this speech at the 1961 United Automobile Workers convention. He highlights the changes that have taken place in organized labor. He also connects the organized labor movement to equal opportunity in housing and the political process.

MLK Speaks on Vietnam War

This 32-page booklet was published by Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam shortly after Dr. King’s April 4, 1967 Riverside Church address on the Vietnam War. It features a foreword by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, Dr. King’s speech, and remarks by Henry Steele Commager, Dr. John C. Bennett, and Rabbi Abraham Heschel. In addition, it includes a New York Times interview with Dr. King, King’s response to NAACP criticism on his opposition to the war, and letters to the editor of the New York Times.

The Chicago Plan

Friday, January 7, 1966

Dr. King makes a public statement addressing the poor economic and housing conditions in the North. Dr. King specifically identifies Chicago as the prototype for the conditions occurring within this region. He describes a three phase plan detailing how to properly address and manage the problems effectively.

MLK's Address to Addison Junior High

Thursday, October 22, 1964

Dr. King explains the importance of education and encourages the students to exercise their abilities to the fullest and strive for excellence. Dr. King further describes the duties each student must fulfill to make an impact on their community and the world.

MLK's Statement on Endorsing a 1960 Presidential Candidate

Tuesday, November 1, 1960

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.

MLK's Crawfordville, Georgia Speech

Monday, October 11, 1965

Dr. King rallies the people to keep pushing forward with nonviolent actions to gain freedom and dignity as human beings.

Address Before the United Packinghouse Workers of America

At their Thirteenth Constitutional Convention in Minneapolis on May 21, 1962, Dr. King praises the United Packinghouse Workers Union of America for their dedication to civil rights. He states that the civil rights and labor movements share in common a concern for minimum wages, social security, health benefits, decent housing, job security and retirement security. He thanks them for the aid that they have provided and encourages them to continue fighting for equality.

MLK Statement Before the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders

Monday, October 23, 1967

Dr. King makes a public statement before the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder. He addresses five causes of the recent riots: hite backlash, unemployment, discriminatory practices, war, and features peculiar to big cities.

Martin Luther King Does It Again

Sunday, April 23, 1967

Ralph C. Bailey, a marcher in the New York City demonstration against the War in Vietnam, describes the demonstration as an "impressive spectacle" of people of all ages and races. He praises Dr. King for combining revolution with nonviolence in hopes of a peaceful demonstration.

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.

Herbert Hill Statement Before the House Committee on Education and Labor

Friday, August 17, 1962

Herbert Hill, National Labor Director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, addresses the House Committee on Education and Labor regarding the questionable practices conducted by the leadership of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

Introduction of Edward M. Kennedy

Dr. King introduces Robert Kennedy at a gathering in Jackson, Mississippi, calling him a "capable statesman" with a "great social vision."

A Statement to the South and the Nation

The Southern Leaders Conference on Transportation and Non-Violent Integration issued this statement to the nation regarding the unresolved problems of civil rights. The leaders asked for all Negroes, particularly those in the South, to assert their human dignity and to seek justice by rejecting all injustices.

What Are We Fighting For?

This outlines the sermon "What Are We Fighting For" into three components: the past, the present, and the future.

MLK's Statement in Regards to Adlai Stevenson

Wednesday, July 14, 1965

Dr. King makes a statement following the death of Adlai Stevenson.

Statement of the Committee for Emmett Doe

The Committee for Emmett Doe issues a statement both explaining Doe's situation and also asking for support. Doe, an Army paramedic, faced court-martial for allegedly cursing a white superior. He was later acquitted of the charges.

Address to the National Bar Association

Thursday, August 20, 1959

Dr. King shares with the National Bar Association of Milwaukee, the history of segregation and why African Americans fight for equality.

Introduction of Senator Edward M. Kennedy by MLK

Monday, August 8, 1966

Dr. King introduces the SCLC's guest speaker, Senator Edward Kennedy at a conference in Jackson, Mississippi.

MLK's Address About South Africa

Friday, December 10, 1965

Addressing the apartheid situation in South Africa, Dr. King states that white rulers of South Africa, rather than black Africans, are "modern day barbarians." He continues to say that although black South Africans are the majority, they are oppressed by the minority. This is one of many occasions that Dr. King parallels racial injustices and views civil rights as an international issue.

Address to AFL-CIO New York City District 65

Dr. King speaks to the District 65 AFL-CIO to address the importance of job opportunities in the northern and southern regions of the United States. He explains that the labor movement must stay active in order to gain civil rights and equal pay for African American workers.

A Promising Day for the City of Selma

In this handwritten public statement, the author addresses the Negro citizens of Selma, Alabama by commending their efforts of non-violence during a one-thousand person demonstration for equal voting rights.

Statement by MLK on Perjury Charges

Wednesday, February 17, 1960

Dr. King addresses his indictment for perjury supposedly related to improperly filed Alabama state tax returns. He points out that the tax auditor who assured him that his returns were accurate is the person bringing the charges. He proposes a group of distinguished citizens to review his books and report their findings and concludes by stating that his conscience is clear.

The Chicago Plan

Friday, January 7, 1966

Dr. King laments over Chicago becoming so much like the South that many African Americans moved north to get away from. Dr. King lays out reasons why African Americans suffer more in Chicago than any other northern city and provides directions to correct the problem.

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

Tuesday, June 21, 1966

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.

MLK's Statement to SCLC Describing SCOPE

Wednesday, June 16, 1965

In this statement, Dr. King describes the Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE), an initiative of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Its goals are to train local leaders, inform the public, and register individuals to vote.

March on Washington

Sunday, April 28, 1963

In this news release, Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, addresses Congress to voice the people's concern in their quest for freedom, jobs and equal rights. He commends Republicans and Democrats in support of legislation to end discrimination.