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"Speeches"

MLK Address to the United Neighborhood Houses of New York

Tuesday, December 6, 1966

Dr. King addresses the United Neighborhood Houses of New York at the Biltmore Hotel. He focuses on the need to alter the ineffective, piecemeal manner in which the government tries to fight poverty by fighting its symptoms, and instead suggest that the government channel those funds into a new "guaranteed annual income" that will help turn non-producers into consumers. This rough draft of the speech contains Dr. King's handwritten revisions and additions.

Draft of Address at the Fourth Constitutional Convention of the AFL-CIO

In this address to the AFL-CIO, Dr. King compares the labor and civil rights movements. He argues that those who are anti-labor are also likely anti-civil rights. Thus, the Negro understands the labor movement and shares the same enemies. Dr. King also predicts that the coming years will be trying ones for laborers due to the automation of work processes, stating that "automation will grind jobs into dust." Dr. King urges the labor movement to strengthen itself by embracing the Negro people.

Statement by MLK

Friday, October 14, 1966

In this statement, Dr. King enforces the mission and organizational structure of the SCLC as a means of denouncing the traditional ideas associated with the "Black Power" slogan.

Committee of Responsibility to Save War Burned and War Injured Vietnamese Children

The Committee of Responsibility to Save War Burned and War Injured Vietnamese Children announces a program that will bring war-maimed children from Vietnam to the United Stares for medical treatment.

Proposed Nobel Speech

This is a draft for an optional version of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. He notes the importance of viewing the world as a family and with such perception, understands race issues as an international concern. King also speaks of Sir Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the originator of the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepts the award on behalf of those who came before him and those who continue to fight for freedom.

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."

Ghettos and Segregation in City Urbanizing

Dr. King writes this speech explaining the current economic and social conditions of city ghettos. As cities urbanize, ghettos expand and segregation increases. "The ghetto has become the hallmark of our major cities just as truly as the cities themselves are becoming the hallmark of the nation." Though the last thirty years has seen advancements in legislation, what remains unrecognized is the gap between legislation intent and the actualization of community programs that have tangible affects on the neighborhoods.

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.

Outline of MLK's 1962 Address to NAACP

In Dr. King's handwriting, this outline is from a speech he later addressed to the NAACP, at its 53rd Annual Convention in Atlanta, GA.

MLK Statement on Voter Registration

Dr. King urges the African American community to register and vote. He outlines the importance of voting by making historcial references relevant to the community.

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.

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.

Joint Statement of MLK and SCLC

Friday, April 30, 1965

Dr. King and John Lewis deliver a statement concerning a meeting presided over by Harry Belafonte. The meeting was intended to discover ways that the SCLC and SNCC could cooperate and concluded with an agreement for both organizations to work together but separately towards a voting bill and other goals.

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.

African American Unity in Atlanta, Georgia

The author of this document discusses why it is imperative for African Americans to not only stand in unity against the injustices of society, but to also be informed about the issues in which they strive to prevail against. Information about school integration, housing discrimination, and taxation is offered in the conclusion of the document.

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.

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.

The Real Poverty

Sunday, December 4, 1966

SCLC Director of Public Relations Junius Griffin announces the opening of the Anti-Poverty Coordinating Committee of the Wilcox County, Alabama branch of the SCLC. Throughout the speech, he asserts that true poverty is a "man without compassion," and that any person who does not know how to help others is worse off than "our ancestors who were slaves."

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.

Gunnar Jahn's 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Speech on MLK

Gunnar Jahn shares background information about Dr. King prior to presenting him the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. In his speech, Jahn informs the audience about the bus boycotts and the campaign for equality that Dr. King led. He also discusses Dr. and Mrs. King's choice to leave the easier life in the North to fight a racial battle in the South. Lastly he discusses Dr. King's dedication to his church and his faith in God.

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.

MLK Urges the Vice President to Visit the South

Thursday, June 13, 1957

Dr. King informs the press that he is articulating plans with the SCLC to launch a campaign to prepare the Negro community for the 1958 election. Dr. King appeals to Vice President Richard Nixon to perform three duties to aid the practice of justice and freedom in the United States. The first of the three involves personal appearances of Nixon to speak to the people of the South about civil rights. The second duty asserts Nixon's initiation of the United States Constitution to support the Negro's voting rights.

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.

Movement for Puerto Rican Independence

Pedro Juan Rua, a leader in the Movement for Puerto Rican Independence, gives a speech concerning the American military presence in Vietnam. He provides a historical framework for understanding America's involvement with other oppressed nations, asserting "U.S. rulers are new Nazis. Unite to defeat them."

Remarks at the University of Wisconsin Law School

Tuesday, March 8, 1960

Harris Wofford, Jr. gives these remarks at the University of Wisconsin Law School on March 8, 1960. Wofford has several ties with Dr. King in cases such as arranging a trip to India, helping to write "Stride Toward Freedom," and negotiating with Senator Kennedy and Vice-President Nixon during the 1960 presidential campaign. In addition, Wofford was the Special Assistant for Civil Rights under U. S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

Address on Anti-Poverty by Jerome P. Cavanagh

Monday, August 22, 1966

Jerome P. Cavanagh, Mayor of Detroit, delivers this speech before the Office of Economic Opportunity Urban Areas Conference, Great Lakes Region. The conference is dedicated to sharing experiences in the War on Poverty and taking a realistic assessment on the issues in urban areas. Inadequate education, food, housing, and disjointed welfare systems are major problems of concern. Cavanagh encourages the analysis of programs addressing these situations. He also advocates an understanding of federal aid cutbacks and connects insufficient funds to the Vietnam War and space exploration.

Joint Statement on Violence in the Cities

Wednesday, July 26, 1967

Dr. King, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young Jr., and Roy Wilkins issue a joint statement urging Negro Americans in cities such as Newark and Detroit to end the public disorder and rioting. The civil rights leaders emphasize the potential damage the urban riots pose to "the Negro population, to the civil rights cause, and to the entire nation."

MLK Statement on Libel Suit

Wednesday, July 14, 1965

Dr. King makes a public statement regarding a libel suit. He explains that he has been served papers but is not at liberty to comment.

MLK Announces The Jail Sentences Stemming from the 1963 Birmingham Demonstrations

Monday, October 30, 1967

Dr. King makes this statement regarding the arrest of himself and other leaders of the 1963 Birmingham struggle. The Supreme Court in 1967 ruled that these leaders unjustly broke the city wide injunction banning demonstrations. Dr. King urges the nation, "Take heed. Do not allow the Bill of Rights to become a prisoner of war."

Statement of Congressman Seymour Halpern in the House Debate on the Voting Rights Bill

Mr. Halpern addresses the Chairman of the House of Representatives in favor of passing the Voting Rights Bill. He wants to ensure that the bill is enacted in a way that will not allow it to be manipulated by individual states, causing further discrimination against African Americans and non-English speakers. Mr. Halpern goes on to explain other acts that must take place and suggests other tenants to be incorporated into the bill in order to make sure all Americans have equal rights under the law.