Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Intersecting Movements

Martin Luther King Jr. was not only a leader in the campaign to end segregation, but also a brilliant coordinator, working with national leaders from a variety of movements who were in solidarity with that struggle. The African-American community itself was complex and dynamic; within it there were leaders who represented a variety of perspectives and efforts directed towards justice, fairness and equality in the United States and around the world. This theme is intended to provide a selection of the documents that represent Dr. King’s engagement of intersecting social movements. It includes correspondence related to organized labor, black nationalism, pan-Africanism and peace organizations.

Letter from Milton S. Eisenhower to MLK

,

This letter from former President Eisenhower's brother Milton, on behalf of Planned Parenthood World Population, requests that Dr. King serve the organization in order to "lend important moral support."

Wednesday, January 26, 1966

Pamphlet About the Black Panther Party

,

This pamphlet contains historical and contextual references to the Black Panther Party. It also includes a speech by John Hulett and an interview of Stokely Carmichael highlighting the political and social movements occurring in Lowndes County, Alabama.

Wednesday, June 1, 1966

Letter from Irwin Heilner to MLK

,

Music composer Irwin Heilner corresponds with Dr. King inquiring about the possibility of composing music and setting it to King's "I Have A Dream" speech.

Thursday, December 19, 1963

Co-Op Movements for Black Economic Development

This memorandum sent to Dr. King by Professor St. Clair Drake, is a full proposal for the development/revival of the co-operative movements among negroes in large urban centers.

Letter from Leonard E. Smith to MLK

,

Leonard Smith writes to Dr. King concerning a new venture of the National Sharecroppers Fund, which seeks to invest Negro business captial in Southeastern farming areas to benefit the rural poor.

Friday, October 6, 1967

Letter from Nathaniel L. Hawthorne to MLK

,

Nathaniel Lee Hawthorne, who describes himself as “a nonviolent militant Negro” from rural Virginia, asks Dr. King for advice on publishing a book. Hawthorne wants to tell the nation what it feels like to be poor

Friday, March 22, 1968

Affidavit of Theo R. Wright

,

In an attempt to redirect the focus of Negro students in Birmingham, Superintendent Theo R. Wright presents a sworn affidavit detailing his responsibilities and plans to revitalize the educational direction of Birmingham Public Schools.

Friday, May 10, 1963

Letter from Jill Chisholm to MLK

,

Ms. Chisholm, from South Africa, informs Dr. King of her temporary stay in the United States to research the non-violent movement and work of SCLC. She request to meet with Dr. King to discuss his work in Atlanta, GA and Chicago, IL.

Sunday, January 22, 1967

Letter from Pastor William A. Lawson to MLK

,

Pastor Bill Lawson writes Dr. King seeking his help with spreading the Civil Rights Movement in Houston. He asks King to establish a permanent SCLC office in Houston and engage in nonviolent demonstrations.

Sunday, September 25, 1966

A Knock At Midnight

,

In a tape-recorded address to the Riverside Church in New York City, Dr. King compares the civil rights struggle to a parable from St. Luke. His sermon specifically tackles contemporary social issues such as segregation, discrimination, and the philosophy of nonviolence. In addition, Dr. King explores the role of the church in dealing with such problems.

Sunday, August 9, 1964

Letter from Joan Daves to MLK

,

This letter from Ms. Daves to Dr. King features requests regarding his itinerary for his trip to England.

Tuesday, September 8, 1964

SANE Action: Citizens' Milk Strike

,

As an economic act against pollution and a nuclear war, the National Committee For A SANE Nuclear Policy stages a Citizens' Milk Strike.

Friday, February 16, 1962

Letters from Jeanette Allen Behre to MLKCharles. H. Behre to MLK

,

Two professors of Columbia University, Dr. Jeanette Allen Behre and Chas. H. Behre Jr., express their dissent with Dr. King taking a public stand on the war in Vietnam. The professors feel Dr. King is jeopardizing his support for the civil rights.

Thursday, June 1, 1967

Workers Defense League Board Meeting Announcement

This is an invitation to the annual national executive board meeting of the Workers Defense League in New York City. The agenda is to discuss civil rights, how to defend the rights of conscientious objectors, workers and welfare recipients, political asylum, and other topics.

Letter from Franklin W. Thomas to MLK

,

Franklin W. Thomas writes to Dr. King to apologize for the delay in honoring his participation in the Hungry Club Forum 20th Anniversary Series.

Friday, June 2, 1967

Telegram from Berry Gordy, Jr. to MLK

President of Motown Record Corporation, Berry Gordy, Jr., awaits Dr. King's decision on the album, "The Great March on Washington."

Telegram from MLK to Cesar Chavez

Dr. King commends Cesar Chavez for his personal sacrifice and commitment to the use of nonviolence as a way to achieve justice.

Letter from Rabbi Gerald A. Goldman to MLK

,

Rabbi Gerald A. Goldman invites Dr. King to be a guest at the West Side Peace Committee Conference.

Friday, March 1, 1968

A New South A-Coming

This pamphlet discusses the courageous stand of African American high school students against racial discrimination in the South. The efforts demonstrated by these young people to bring about change of many undemocratic practices were significantly noted in Negro history.

The A. Philip Randolph Institute

The A. Philip Randolph Institute was organized to mobilize labor, religious and other groups in support of the civil rights movement. Dr. King was a member of the Advisory Board.

Letter From Maria Diego to Dr. King

,

Maria Diego requests assistance from Dr. King to aid in funding a new Catholic school building in Japan.

Thursday, November 18, 1965

Letter from Esther Jackson to MLK

,

Esther Jackson of the New York Shakespeare Festival sends Dr. King a "discussion letter" to raise the issue of desegregating the arts. Nationwide, new arts programs will emerge and existing organizations funded as part of "Great Society" programs. Jackson calls for an effort to prevent discrimination in such programs now rather than attempting to dislodge discrimination after it becomes further entrenched. She outlines the beginning of a response to the issue.

Monday, June 28, 1965

Draft of Statement by MLK on his Involvement With the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Dr. King wishes to clarify his endorsement of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. He states that he did not mean to imply that there was a civil rights issue in the "collective bargaining election," but rather that he admires the accomplishments of the labor movement.

Letter from George W. Chivers to MLK

,

George W. Chivers writes to Dr. King objecting to the Alabama law that disallows women from sitting as jurors. He compares this denial of women's civil rights to the injustices suffered by Negroes in Alabama.

Saturday, August 20, 1966

Telegram from Unius Griffin to MLK

Unius Griffin writes to Dr. King regarding four Negro political candidates seeking elective offices in Wilcox County, Alabama. Griffin includes information on the increasing numbers of registered Negro voters and speaks to the various intents of each Negro candidate.

Telegram from Malcolm X to MLK

,

Malcolm X offers Dr. King assistance with the situation in St. Augustine, including the organization of self-defense units.

Tuesday, June 30, 1964

Letter from Reverend Virgil W. Glanton to SCLC

,

In this letter, Reverend Virgil Glanton gives a contribution to SCLC and offers support for the Meredith March.

Saturday, June 18, 1966

Two Noted Rights Workers Added to Staff of SCEF

This article explains Ella J. Baker and John R. Salter were added to the New Orleans based Southern Christian Educational Fund shortly before its headquarters were raided by more than 100 policemen on October 4th.

Letter from Malcolm X to MLK

,

Malcolm X invites Dr. King, along with other Negro leaders, to give an analysis and a solution on the current "race problem" at a rally in New York on August 10th.

Wednesday, July 31, 1963

Letter from William S. Stein to MLK

,

William Stein informs Dr. King that the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church will be contributing to SCLC.

Friday, May 6, 1966

Pages