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"Speeches"

I Have A Dream

This is an excerpt of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, as delivered at the March on Washington. The moderator asks Marion Anderson to sing, "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands."

Thoughts on Nobel Prize

This draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech lends recognition to the nonviolent practices of those engaged in the fight for equality and civil rights.

MLK's Statement on Birmingham Jails

Monday, May 6, 1963

During a broadcast, Dr. King states that the witness and determination of those incarcerated in Birmingham, will break down the barriers of segregation.

Retirement Speech from MLK to Dr. Benjamin E. May

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

MLK on Danville and the Problem of Violence

Friday, July 12, 1963

Dr. King discusses his perception of the nonviolent movement, and how the leadership maintains control even though minimal violent outbreaks may occur.

A Promising Day for the City of Selma

In this handwritten public statement, the author addresses the Negro citizens of Selma, Alabama by commending their efforts of non-violence during a one-thousand person demonstration for equal voting rights.

Birmingham Desegregation Settlement Agreement

Friday, May 10, 1963

Dr. King reviews the settlement made between the City of Birmingham and civil rights protesters. This agreement includes the integration of lunch counters, sitting rooms, restrooms, and water fountains within ninety days.

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.

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.?

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.

Gandhi Society for Human Rights Address by MLK

Thursday, May 17, 1962

Dr. King speaks at a luncheon launching the Gandhi Society on May 17, 1962, citing the great significance of the day: the anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision declaring school segregation unconstitutional, the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the centennial of the death of Henry David Thoreau, whose essay on civil disobedience influenced Gandhi. He announces that earlier that day he sent President Kennedy a document seeking an executive order proclaiming all forms of segregation to be a violation of the US Constitution.

Killing Won't Frighten Negroes

Monday, May 24, 1965

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.

Draft of I Have a Dream

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

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.

Sunday with Martin Luther King, Jr. Radio Sermon on WAAF-AM Chicago, IL

Sunday, April 10, 1966

This copy of Dr. King's segment on WAAF-AM radio, entitled "Sunday with Martin Luther King," explains the plight of the "Negro" in the South as similar to the oppression experienced by the Israelites in the book of Exodus.

Black Power - Dr. Vincent Harding

Dr. Harding gives a full detailed presentation on Black Power before the Southeastern Regional Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

Senator Edward Kennedy's Address to SCLC

Monday, August 8, 1966

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) addresses the 1966 SCLC Annual Convention, stating that the sit-ins, freedom rides and Montgomery bus boycott created a movement that brought about the most important change of the last 20 years. He says that while the caste system in politics is over, the life of the average Negro hasn’t changed much. Society is becoming divided rich and poor, black and white, and a massive commitment of national resources must be made to upgrade Negro life in America.

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.

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."

MLK Norway Radio Interview

Monday, November 9, 1964

Dr. King addresses the importance of the Chicago Adult Education Project and the impact it would have on the Lawndale community. Issues of discrimination, segregation, racism, and oppression have lead to constant riots and violence in this densely populated area. Dr. King submits the idea that, to cure the issue of the "ghetto", Americans and the government must work to eradicate the causes by offering better education, better housing, and fair wages instead of "anti-riot" legislation.

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.

Epitaph for a First Lady: Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, November 24, 1962

Dr. Kings writes an epitaph discussing Eleanor Roosevelt and what she stood for.

A Statement to the South and the Nation

The Southern Leaders Conference on Transportation and Non-Violent Integration issued this statement to the nation regarding the unresolved problems of civil rights. The leaders asked for all Negroes, particularly those in the South, to assert their human dignity and to seek justice by rejecting all injustices.

Keynote Address Introduction for Sidney Poitier

Monday, August 14, 1967

At the Tenth Annual Convention of the SCLC, Dr. King delivers this introduction of guest speaker, Sidney Poitier. Andrew Young further praises Mr. Poitier for informing the black community that one should be "proud to be black" because "black is beautiful."

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.

Draft of Statement "Vote No on State Question 409" by MLK

In this draft of a statement, Dr. King discusses the misnomer of 'right-to-work,' stating that the law is against Civil Rights as it is anti-union.

The Wind of Change is Blowing

Wednesday, June 27, 1962

Dr. King addresses the positive changes that have taken place across the world and how they should continue to occur until equality is reached.

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 Address at the Georgia State Capitol Regarding Julian Bond

Friday, January 14, 1966

Dr. King delivers this speech at the State Capitol of Georgia protesting the legislation refusal to seat black politician Julian Bond. King calls this a "grave injustice" particularly since the state legislature of Georgia considers itself protecting the United States Constitution. Dr. King points out the irony of this act and exposes other irresponsible actions of the legislature.

MLK's Statement Upon Return to Montgomery

Friday, October 24, 1958

Dr. King expounds on his brutal attack by the "deranged woman" Izola Ware Curry, in which he was stabbed near the heart. He stresses the importance of remaining committed to nonviolence and says he is grateful for the outpouring of sympathy and affection he received while in the hospital.

Statement Regarding Chicago Movement

Friday, December 2, 1966

Dr. King speaks about the Chicago Freedom Movement that is mobilizing to "launch an intensive voter registration" campaign in Negro communities. Dr. King states, "the ultimate goal of this drive is to add substantially to the voter registration and motivate the entire Negro community to participate in the political process."