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"Speeches"

MLK Statement at Pacem In Terris II Convocation

Monday, May 29, 1967
Geneva, Switzerland, VIETNAM, THAILAND

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

Statement by MLK

VIETNAM, CHINA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Dr. King releases a public statement addressing the issues regarding the conflict in Vietnam.

Draft of I Have a Dream

Wednesday, August 28, 1963
Washington, D.C.

This version of Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech reveals important changes to ideas and phrases that Dr. King chose either to alter or omit completely the day he addressed the throng gathered before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dr. King's argument against the "normalcy" of bigotry remained a key message on the day he took the podium.

MLK Speaks on Vietnam War

New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, New York (NY), California (CA), VIETNAM, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, FRANCE, CHINA, JAPAN, MEXICO, Montgomery, AL, Alabama (AL), RUSSIAN FEDERATION, Georgia (GA), Detroit, MI, Michigan (MI), GUATEMALA, COLOMBIA, PERU, THAILAND, CAMBODIA, MOZAMBIQUE, GERMANY, PHILIPPINES, UNITED KINGDOM, London, England, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, HAITI, NICARAGUA, South Africa

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.

Speech at Chicago Freedom Movement Rally

Sunday, July 10, 1966
Chicago, IL, Mississippi (MS), Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL, Birmingham, AL, PUERTO RICO

Dr. King speaks of the urgent need to address issues in the city such as deplorable housing conditions, discrimination in employment, segregation and overcrowded schools. He urges his listeners to commit to fill up the jails if necessary, register every eligible Negro to vote, withhold rent from slumlords, withdraw economic support from companies that don't hire Negroes, and support Negro-owned businesses. He stresses the importance of using nonviolent methods.

Address by MLK at the Washington, DC Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom

Friday, May 17, 1957
Washington, D.C., Alabama (AL), Chicago, IL, Philadelphia, PA, New York (NY), Detroit, MI, EGYPT

Dr. King gives an address at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. regarding race relations and the struggle for justice and racial equality in America. King discusses the responsibility of the President, Congress, and federal courts to ensure all blacks the have the opportunity and the right to vote. King closes by asserting that everyone must stand firm in faith and act only in love and nonviolence in the fight for these rights.

MLK's Address to Syracuse University

Thursday, July 15, 1965
New York (NY)

Dr. King, in a public speech at Howard University, talks about numerous factors that affect education in America.

MLK Announces The Jail Sentences Stemming from the 1963 Birmingham Demonstrations

Monday, October 30, 1967
Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, VIETNAM, Alabama (AL), Washington, D.C., Berkeley, CA, Wisconsin (WI), Brooklyn, NY, Ohio (OH), Selma, AL

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."

I've Been to the Mountaintop

Wednesday, April 3, 1968
Memphis, TN, Birmingham, AL

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.

The Task of Christian Leadership Training for Education in the Local Community

Atlantic City, NJ, Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), New Jersey (NJ)

This undated manuscript was used as the basis for a speech Dr. King gave at the National Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1944. Dr. King defines community, lists three current problems within the community and explains the role of Christian leaders and education in a community. Dr. King identifies the most pressing problems as the economy, divisions within Christianity and race relations.

The Modern Negro Activist

Montgomery, AL, GHANA, NIGERIA, KENYA, CONGO / ZAIRE, Alabama (AL), California (CA), Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts (MA)

Dr. King profiles the emergent young Negro civil rights activist who is college-educated, creative, brave and committed to the discipline of non-violence. He attributes the activist's diligence to a keen awareness that they inhabit a world on the cusp of positive social change and that they will have the privilege to direct that change. They are no longer to be an imitator of his white counterpart, but rather an initiator and leader in this new age.

Address on Anti-Poverty by Jerome P. Cavanagh

Monday, August 22, 1966
Detroit, MI, New York (NY)

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.

Dr. Paul Arthur Scilpp Speech in Illinois

Illinois (IL), Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL, Selma, AL

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.

Killing Won't Frighten Negroes

Monday, May 24, 1965
Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Montgomery, AL

Regarding the violence in Alabama, Dr. King decries the lack of justice for the ten murdered civil rights demonstrators under Governor Wallace's administration. He continues by saying that "eyes should have been on God" the Sunday morning the four girls were killed in Birmingham. King declares that the killings will not frighten the activists into submission.

MLK's Public Statement Regarding Julian Bond

Tuesday, January 12, 1965
Georgia (GA)

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.

MLK Speech at Nobel Peace Prize Recognition Dinner

Wednesday, January 27, 1965
Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Alabama (AL), Mississippi (MS)

Dr. King delivers this address after returning from his trip to Oslo, Norway. A recognition dinner is held in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia as an honor for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. King thanks supporters, family, and friends, however, accepts the award on behalf of the many people struggling for justice and civil rights. He states that oppressed people can only stay oppressed for so long because "the yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself."

Address by MLK to the Hungry Club

Wednesday, December 15, 1965
Atlanta, GA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Virginia (VA), Alabama (AL), Philadelphia, PA, South Africa, Birmingham, AL, Selma, AL, Montgomery, AL, Washington, D.C., Mississippi (MS)

Dr. King addresses the members of The Hungry Club on the dilemma of "Negroes" obtaining complete equality. He refers to several passages from his "I Have a Dream" speech.

People to People

Chicago, IL, Illinois (IL), Cleveland, OH, Ohio (OH), Philadelphia, PA, Pennsylvania (PA), Washington, D.C., Albany, GA, Birmingham, AL, Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL, Selma, AL, Florida (FL), St. Augustine, FL, Georgia (GA), Virginia (VA)

Dr. King announces the SCLC's launching of a People to People tour of four northern cities. The SCLC launched this tour in the north to display a concern for the "moral welfare of Northern Negroes."

The Role of the Church

New York (NY), New York, NY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Massachusetts (MA), Boston, MA, INDIA, INDONESIA, GHANA, BRAZIL

Dr. King expresses how ineffective the Emancipation Proclamation has truly been on the Civil Rights Movement.

Statements on Jobs and Poverty

Friday, November 6, 1964
New York (NY), New York, NY, Mississippi (MS), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Pennsylvania (PA)

Dr. King explains the relationship between violence and the lack of employment among young people. Dr. King also speaks of the Thanksgiving Fast for Freedom and its efforts to end poverty and hunger.

Retirement Speech from MLK to Dr. Benjamin E. May

Atlanta, GA

Dr. King honors Dr. Mays for serving as the President of Morehouse College as he enters into retirement.

Address to the Montgomery Improvement Association

Monday, December 5, 1955
Montgomery, AL

Dr. King discusses the inequality in America and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He says that he will work to eliminate discrimination in Montgomery and he encourages the audience to participate and actively seek change as well.

A Look To The Future

Monday, September 2, 1957
Tennessee (TN), EGYPT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

For the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Highlander Folk School, Dr. King delivers the speech "A Look To The Future." He uses a timeline to explain the adversities African Americans endured to gain recognition as American citizens. He also points out the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Councils to make African Americans second class citizens. Lastly, Dr. King points out that America should be more maladjusted in order to avoid failing to cope with the demands of the normal social environment.

Revolution In The Classroom

Friday, March 31, 1967
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), Selma, AL

Dr. King addresses the Georgia Teachers and Education Association about the education of children in the South.

Desegregation and the Future

Saturday, December 15, 1956
Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL

This document contains the first eight pages of Dr. King's address at the annual luncheon of the National Committee for Rural Schools at New York's Commodore Hotel in 1956. In it, he condemns segregation as an evil which has been allowed to exist in American life for too many decades. Dr. King points out that many states now stand in opposition to desegregation, and the federal government and the Supreme Court must now face how to make this new legislation a reality.

Speech from MLK about Jews Living in the Soviet Union

FORMER SOVIET UNION / USSR

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."

Introduction of Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Monday, August 8, 1966
Massachusetts (MA), Mississippi (MS), Jackson, MS

Dr. King introduces Senator Edward M. Kennedy at a SCLC banquet and highlights his accomplishments.

An Address by MLK at the 53rd Convention of the NAACP

Atlanta, GA, Washington, D.C., UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Georgia (GA), Chattanooga, TN, Tennessee (TN), Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL

Dr. King makes an address at the 53rd Convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People in Atlanta disputing the myths of the civil rights movement. In addition to expressing appreciation for the organization's work, Dr. King apologizes for the prejudice the NAACP had to endure in making accommodations for the conference in Atlanta.

National Council of Churches Conference of Negro Leaders Opening Remarks

Saturday, January 30, 1965
New York (NY), New York, NY, California (CA), Michigan (MI), Detroit, MI, Ohio (OH), Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Selma, AL, Washington, D.C.

A. Philip Randolph makes remarks at the Conference of Negro Leaders National Council of Churches about the future of the Civil Rights Movement. Randolph expresses the importance of continuing the fight of social justice through civil rights, economics, housing and poverty.

MLK Statement about the New York Riots

Monday, July 27, 1964
Mississippi (MS), New York (NY), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Dr. Kind addresses the press' claim that civil rights leaders are involved in the outbreak of riots in New York. He says that violence creates more social problems than it solves. He says that government officials need to take responsibility and help all American citizens gain justice and equality.