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"Speeches"

School Desegregation 10 Years Later

Thursday, May 7, 1964

Dr. King says that there have been few strides made in school desegregation. He says that schools that comply with the desegregation laws do it at an appalling slow pace. Lastly, he says that although there needs to be more progress in both the north and the south, he has hope for 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 by MLK on Segregation

Thursday, July 11, 1963

In this statement from Dr. King on segregation, he argues that it is "nothing but a new form of slavery."

SCLC Press Release About Telegram to Robert Kennedy

The SCLC issues a press release, which discloses the text of telegram from Dr. King to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

At the Beginning of the Youth Leadership Conference

Friday, April 15, 1960

While speaking to the Youth Leadership Conference in Raleigh, NC, Dr. King elaborates on the student sit-in movements, which he says served as a representation of the plight of the American Negro regarding their struggle for justice. Dr. King further lists the various details of their strategy for victory.

Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Friday, December 11, 1964

On December 11, 1964, Dr. King delivered his Nobel lecture at the University of Oslo. Aware of the prestigious nature of the award and the global recognition for the nonviolent struggle to eradicate racial injustice in the U.S., King worked nearly a month on this address. He went far beyond his dream for America and articulated his vision of a World House in which a family of different races, religions, ideas, cultures and interests must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools. For citations, go to Dr. King's lecture at nobleprize.org.

MLK Press Conference in NYC

Thursday, December 14, 1967

Dr. King speaks at a Press Conference to expresses his support for the boycotts occurring around the nation. He also stands in affirmation with the Olympic athletes who chose not to participate in the games due to the civil injustice taking place in America.

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."

Address by Dabbs entitled 'Quit You Like Men' Delivered at SCLC

Thursday, October 1, 1959

This address to the Fall Session of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was delivered in October, 1959, by James McBride Dabbs. Dabbs speaks to the social condition in the United States, highlighting the equality of the races. Arguing that justice is a two way street, Dabbs brings up Dr. King's "Stride Toward Freedom," in which Dr. King defends the Montgomery bus boycott as an essential non-cooperation to show discontent.

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.

New York Amsterdam News: Our New President

Friday, December 27, 1963

Dr. King opens his statement on Lyndon B. Johnson, the new president of the United States, and how the tenure of his presidency began with adversity. Due to the elected southern president, the nation questions the possible improvement of the Negro community. Dr. King asserts that President Johnson's record on civil rights is astounding and his "southern-ness" will provide him with a better understanding of the Negro's plight. Dr. King further details the perceptions, actions, and works of President Johnson's efforts in the civil rights movement.

A Realistic Look at Race Relations

Thursday, May 17, 1956

Dr. King gives the three views one can take regarding the state of race relations: optimism, pessimism, and realistic. Dr. King argues for a realistic stance because America has accomplished much in race relations, but still has a long way to go. He further explains that he thinks segregation is in its last days.

Senate Subcommittee on Urban Reorganization Statement

Thursday, December 15, 1966

In a hearing on the plight of inner cities, Dr. King focuses on injustices in the urban ghettoes, stating that the problem is not primarily a race issue but an economic one. He calls for a rebalancing of national priorities and links the plight of America's poor to the squandering of resources on war.

Non-Violent Procedures to Inter-Racial Harmony

Dr. King proclaims that race relations is a crisis that has existed for many years in America. As a result of unjust race relations, Negroes have embarked upon the current fight for equal rights.

Draft of MLK Response to the Establishment of a Bi-Racial Commission in Saint Augustine, Florida

This is a draft of a response for Dr. King to make regarding the establishment of a bi-racial commission in St. Augustine, Florida to address the issues of equality, human dignity and racial justice.

A Statement by Dr. King

Sunday, July 17, 1966

In a statement made in Chicago, Dr. King asks for the economic and social betterment of the individuals living in the "slums" of the city.

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.

Speech to the American Psychological Association

Friday, September 1, 1967

In this speech on the 75th anniversary of the American Psychological Association, Dr. King acknowledges the help that social science can have in the quest of Negroes for equality. He identifies three areas for study: Negro leadership, the efficacy of political action, and the psychological and ideological changes taking place in Negroes as a result of a decade of struggle.

The Christian Way of Life in Human Relations

Wednesday, December 4, 1957

Dr. King makes a speech to the National Council of Churches regarding the issue of American race relations. After school integration ... has noticed a radical change in the attitudes of African-Americans, ultimately giving birth to this mental and figurative notion of the "new Negro". He solicits the assistance and leadership of the nation's churches to take a firm stand against the rampant inequalities afflicting blacks are facing in America.

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.

Statement by MLK on Jailings

Thursday, May 9, 1963

Dr. King states that there have been blatant violations of constitutional principles in the arresting of nonviolent protesters. He further states that those incarcerated have been subject to beatings.

Press Statement Regarding Crusade for Citizenship

Saturday, October 5, 1957

Dr. King delivers a statement surrounding the civil rights struggle of the Negro community and the appeals for justice to public officials. He asserts that in regards to the Prayer Pilgrimage, there cannot be a citizen whom does not have the right to vote. With the initiation of the Crusade for Citizenship, the citizenship of the Negro has the opportunity to be a reality.

I Have A Dream

In the most famous of his speeches, given from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Dr. King drew on themes from previous sermons and speeches, including an address he called The American Dream. Citing Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, the US Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence, King calls upon the nation to fulfill its promise of freedom and justice for all of its citizens. Although he began by reading from a manuscript, he later abandoned it and spoke directly to the crowd of more than 200,000.

The Chicago Freedom Movement: MLK Address

Friday, December 2, 1966

In this statement, Dr. King speaks on behalf of the Chicago Freedom Movement. Dr. King provides details concerning the overall mission, leadership and the predicated involvement of community organizations and participants.

MLK Statement Regarding Housing Proposal in Chicago

Tuesday, December 20, 1966

Robert Clifton Weaver, the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, encloses a statement made by Dr. King for Joseph Califano, assistant to President Johnson. Dr. King announces a slum area housing redevelopment project in the Chicago areas of Lawndale, East Garfield Park and Kenwood Oakland.

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.

Let My People Vote

Dr. King addresses the problem of voting that Negroes in America are encountering and also talks about SCOPE's upcoming initiatives.

Preview of the "Dream" at Detroit March

Sunday, June 23, 1963

Two months before the famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington, King used many of the same words, rhetorical techniques, and themes. King expresses gratitude and inspiration and warns against hatred and separatism at what he thinks is the largest US demonstration to date, a march in Detroit June 23, 1963. The legacy of slavery and segregation induced a false sense of inferiority in Negroes.

MLK's Speech on Civil Rights and Vietnam

Wednesday, April 5, 1967

Dr. King speaks about his role as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement and his position on the Vietnam War.

Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution

Sunday, August 1, 1965

Dr. King delivers the commencement address at Oberlin College in Ohio on June 14, 1965. Nothing is more tragic, he says, than sleeping through a significant period of social change by failing to adopt the new mental attitudes that the new situation demands. He suggests that to remain awake through a great revolution one must embrace a global perspective and work for peace, racial justice, economic justice and brotherhood throughout the world.