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"Speeches"

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.

Annual Address by MLK for the Montgomery Improvement Association

Thursday, December 3, 1959

This document outlines Dr. King's address for the Fourth Anniversary of the Montgomery Improvement Association, held at Bethel Baptist Church in Montgomery. In the address, Dr. King speaks about the history, achievements and current task of the Association.

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.

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.?

Statement by Roy Wilkins to Congress

Thursday, January 12, 1967

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights adopted this statement by Roy Wilkins, Chairman, for the opening of the 1967 Congressional session. Their agenda includes full compliance with all existing civil rights legislation, equality and justice in the courts, greater protection for those who exercise their civil rights, and an end to housing discrimination. Wilkins states that economic and social conditions must be created so that civil rights guaranteed by law can be realized.

Hungry Club Speech

Wednesday, May 10, 1967

Dr. King speaks on "America's Chief Moral Dilemma." He contends that the dilemma in the world is the result of three major evils: racism, poverty, and war. Dr. King encourages the audience to work toward making America a moral example for the rest of the world.

MLK Addresses the Atlanta Press Club

Wednesday, November 10, 1965

Dr. King discusses the struggle for racial justice and the concept of goodwill with the Atlanta Press Club. He stresses that any opposition in the fight for equality will inevitably fail in the face of a unified effort across America.

MLK Statement in Support of Labor Union

Thursday, June 11, 1959

This 1959 statement on behalf of the United Packing House Workers Union is one of many Dr. King wrote supporting unions and the Labor Movement.

MLK Announces End of Montgomery Bus Boycott

Thursday, December 20, 1956

Dr. King, as President of the Montgomery Improvement Association, issued this statement following the US Supreme Court’s decision declaring laws requiring segregation on busses unconstitutional. He announces that the year-long bus boycott is officially over and urges Negroes to return to the buses the next morning on a non-segregated basis. Negroes need to adopt a spirit of understanding toward their white brothers, he says. It is time to move from protest to reconciliation.

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.

MLK's Public Statement Regarding Julian Bond

Tuesday, January 12, 1965

Dr. King expresses his indignation for the State Legislatures refusal to seat Representative-Elect Julian Bond. Dr. King asserts that there are obvious racial overtones in the State Legislatures decisions since Mr. Bond received 82 percent of the votes in his district. Dr. King will commence direct action due to the state of urgency.

Annual Address Delivered at the First Annual Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change

Monday, December 3, 1956

Dr. King's speech at the First Annual Institute of Non-Violence and Social Change addresses many issues regarding the African American. The most recurring issues are of obtaining and maintaining freedom, equality and personal dignity.

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.

Statement Upon Return to Montgomery

Dr. King reflects on his near death experience after Izola Ware Curry stabbed him with a letter opener at a book signing in New York City on September 20, 1958. Although Dr. King refers to Curry as a "deranged woman," he has "no bitterness towards her" and sees her actions only as a "reflection on the moral climate." Dr. King further states what he will remember most is the "vast outpouring of sympathy" that was received from all races and creeds.

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.

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.

MLK Speech at SCLC Staff Retreat

Monday, November 14, 1966

Dr. King addresses the staff of the SCLC at a retreat in Frogmore, South Carolina. He divides his speech into three parts: "whence we have come, where we have come, and where do we go from here." Dr. King thoroughly discusses his thoughts on Communism, the practice of nonviolence, the belief that racism is an "ontological affirmation,"and the weaknesses of Black Power.

MLK Remarks on Negro Press Week

Monday, February 10, 1958

In this transcribed radio address, Dr. King describes how future generations will remember the 20th century as a time where righteous people fought for social, economic, and political freedom. Dr. King also states that the African-American fight for true citizenship is not only a part of American heritage, but also the story of people everywhere who struggle for dignity and freedom. Dr. King made this radio address for Negro Press week a the request of Louisville Defender Editor and National Newspaper Publishers Association board member Frank Stanley.

The Kinship Between the Labor Unions and Negroes

Dr. King presents a speech at the United Auto Workers Convention in May 1961, which acknowledges the new challenges faced by factory workers because of technological advances that threaten to leave them jobless. He draws a parallel between the plight of auto workers and the Negro experiences of disenfranchisement in the US to highlight the potential for alliance between the two groups.

Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Friday, December 11, 1964

This is a handwritten draft of the Nobel lecture. Dr. King delivered this lecture at the University of Oslo on December 11, 1964, the day after receiving the Peace Prize. Aware of the prestigious nature of the award and the global recognition it brought to the nonviolent struggle for racial justice in the US, King worked nearly a month on his address. He goes beyond his dream for America and articulates a vision of a World House in which a family of different races, religions, ideas, cultures and interests must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

Nobel Lecture by MLK

Friday, December 11, 1964

This is a copy of the Lecture given by Dr. King in Oslo, Norway upon his winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. He thanks the Norwegian Parliament for honoring him with this award. He speaks of the evils of racially injustice and the belief that "oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever." He speaks of the need to peacefully come together in harmony as humanity because a peaceful world cannot be built based on a "negative path."

Reverend Walter E. Fauntroy's Keynote Address to the SCLC

Tuesday, August 9, 1966

Reverend Walter E. Fauntroy's keynote address to the SCLC informs his listeners of the trials and the triumphs of African-Americans in the US. Fauntroy focuses primarily on the subject nonviolence and provides his listeners with a summary of the progress that blacks have made since the start of the Civil Rights Movement.

MLK's Statement in Regards to Adlai Stevenson

Wednesday, July 14, 1965

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

The American Dream

Sunday, February 10, 1963

This document contains the text of an address that Dr. King gave at Plymouth Church of The Pilgrims in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. King describes the steps that should be taken in order to make the American Dream a reality.

Pathos and Hope

Dr. King writes about his trip to the Mississippi Delta. He reflects on the resolve and spirit of the people, who despite all odds are fighting for social justice and change.

Excerpt from MLK's Speech to the National Press Club

Thursday, July 19, 1962

Dr. King discusses nonviolent resistance and freedom. He further challenges various communities by coining the slogan, "hate is always tragic."

Statement Issued from Harlem Hospital by MLK

Tuesday, September 30, 1958

Dr. King expresses his appreciation for the staff at Harlem Hospital and those who supported him during his stay at this location. He asserts that the telegrams, letters, calls and other means of contact have been accepted as a token of respect.

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.

Speech from MLK about Jews Living in the Soviet Union

In this document, Dr. King protests the Soviet Union's treatment of the Jews there. He stresses the need for the Soviet Union to treat its Jewish community fairly. He says: "[w]e cannot sit complacently by the wayside while while our Jewish brothers in the Soviet Union face the possible extinction of their cultural and spiritual life."

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.