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"Speeches"

1967 Geneva Convocation

Monday, May 29, 1967

Dr. King provides introductory remarks to participants of the Pacem In Terris II Convocation held in Geneva, Switzerland. He addresses several moral and political concerns as it relates war and Vietnam.

Statement Before the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee

Saturday, August 11, 1956

Dr. King addresses the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee. He calls for strong federal action in the South to prevent violence and to uphold the decisions of the Supreme Court pertaining to the end of segregation.

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.

MLK Remarks at the Launching of SCLC's Crusade for Citizenship

Wednesday, February 12, 1958

Dr. King delivered this speech at a launch meeting for the Crusade for Citizenship in Miami, Florida. He discusses the denial of African Americans' right to vote by relating it to other former disfranchised Americans such as those who did not own property and women. Dr. King discusses the hypocrisy in some American officials' advocacy of democratic election in other European countries as well as the social and economic welfare of all Americans.

A Challenge to the Churches and Synagogues

Dr. King expresses concern for the religious institutions of America. His concern is centered on the obligation that churches and synagogues have to advance civil rights and desegregation, while he goes on to reveal the parallels and connections between religion and society's values.

MLK's Speech Notes

In these speech notes, Dr. King references the plight of the Jewish community in the Soviet Union and the silent betrayal of onlookers. John Donne is quoted in his famous excerpt, "No man is an island entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."

Ebenezer Church Bulletin and President Kennedy's Eulogy

Sunday, November 24, 1963

This is an Ebenezer Baptist Church bulletin expressing appreciation for the congregation's various acts of kindness toward one another. On the opposite side of the bulletin, an outline can be found for a memorial speech for the late President Kennedy.

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 By Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the SCLC

Monday, August 8, 1966

Senator Edward M. Kennedy highlights Dr. King's efforts during the Civil Rights Movement. He also expresses concerns about poverty, unemployment, nonviolence, segregation and integrity.

Statement on CORE Supportive Action Against Variety Chain Store Discrimination in the South

Sunday, February 12, 1961

The Congress of Racial Equality issues a statement regarding economic boycotts of chain stores in the North that have segregated stores in the South. These boycotts are in support of desegregation efforts in the South.

MLK at the Jefferson County Armory

Tuesday, August 23, 1960

In this outline, Dr. King discusses voting and the importance of citizenship. One of the important points, in Dr. King's outline, states: "Political Parties Must Deliver on Their Promises."

Draft of MLK's Public Statement Concerning SCLC Supporting Communism

Dr. King addresses the accusation in the New York Herald Tribune that some SCLC members support Communism. He also states that the SCLC has severed ties with former member Jack O'Dell, including the fundraising that had taken place in New York.

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.

I've Been to the Mountaintop

Wednesday, April 3, 1968

Dr. King gave this address at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee the night before he was assassinated. He called for nonviolent protest and a boycott of Memphis area businesses in support of the Memphis Sanitation Workers strike. Conveying a sense of foreboding, he not only recounted a near-death experience when he was stabbed near the heart, but also spoke of the possibility of his own demise at the hands of those who opposed him.

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.

MLK Statement at Pacem In Terris II Convocation

Monday, May 29, 1967

Dr. King's introductory remarks at the Pacem In Terris II Convocation critiques the United States' involvement in Vietnam.

Tenth Annual Convention

Thursday, August 11, 1966

Dr. King addresses the achievements the SCLC has accomplished over the past ten years at the Tenth Annual Convention in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. King then speaks on the fact that all of the SCLC's achievements are accomplished through nonviolence.

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.

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."

School Desegregation 10 Years Later

Thursday, May 7, 1964

This statement was released by Dr. King ten years after the Supreme Court's decision, Brown versus Board of Education, which made segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The Reverend states, "The naive might believe great strides have been made in school desegregation over the past decade, but this is not at all true."

MLK - Justice Without Violence

Wednesday, April 3, 1957

Dr. King gave this 1957 address to the Institute of Adult Education at Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts.

MLK Address at the University of Chicago

Thursday, January 27, 1966

Dr. King delivers this speech at the University of Chicago on January 27, 1966. He expounds upon the struggles of the Negro family in America, explaining the social and economic challenges the Negro faces along with the affects of slavery.

MLK Address at the National Biennial Convention

Wednesday, May 14, 1958

Dr. King delivers this speech at the National Biennial Convention of the American Jewish Congress. The convention took place May 1, 1958 in Miami Beach, Florida. Dr. King discusses how the Jewish and Negro communities are unified by the escape of bondage. They share a common fight against the deadly enemies of oppression. He continues on to discuss the things that need to be done in order for African Americans to reach great potential along with the importance of fighting for and obtaining democracy.

The Importance of Voting

Thursday, September 6, 1962

This transcript documents Dr. King's recorded statement intended to raise awareness of voting and voter registration.

MLK Statement Regarding Desegregation

Thursday, May 24, 1962

Dr. King discusses the end of the Old South and segregation. He lists urbanization, federal intervention and the unrest of Negroes as key ingredients in breaking down the old system.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

This is a draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Handwritten notes are written in the margins to indicate future amendments. Dr. King states that he experiences this moment of acceptance for himself and "those magnificent devotees of nonviolence who have moved so courageously against the ramparts of racial injustice."

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.

Thoughts on Nobel Prize

Dr. King uses a statement by Mahalia Jackson and the philanthropy of Sir Alfred Nobel to encapsulate the purpose of the Civil Rights Movement. Jackson refers to the racial problems in America as "family business," but Dr. King believes that in order for man to become a brotherhood, society has to search for truth like Alfred Nobel.

Address by MLK at Golden Anniversary Conference of National Urban League

Tuesday, September 6, 1960

Dr. King gives an address at the National Urban Leagues's Golden Anniversary Conference in New York City. He speaks on the subject, "The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness" and discusses the Negroes new sense of "somebodiness." The factors that contribute to this new sense of dignity include a population shift from rural to urban life, rapid educational advance, gradual improvement of economic status, Supreme Court decisions outlawing segregation in the public schools, and awareness that freedom is a part of a world-wide struggle.

Otline: The Philosophy of Nonviolence

This document outlines Dr. King's speech, "The Philosophy of Nonviolence." He notes both the means and ends of nonviolence and explains that the "highest expression" of non-injury is love. He describes nonviolence as an activism technique and outlines the goals of the philosophy.