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"Memphis, TN"

A Program for the Public Meeting at Metropolitan Baptist Church

This program outlines a two-day Public Meeting sponsored by the SCLC at Metropolitan Baptist Church, where Dr. King was scheduled to deliver the key address.

Aftermath of Dr. King's Assassination. Memphis, 1968

This photo comes from the Benedict J. Fernandez "Countdown to Eternity" portfolio.
(Copyright: Benedict J. Fernandez)

American Foundation on Nonviolence Board Meeting

Harry W. Wachtel reports the minutes of the American Foundation of Nonviolence Board Meeting held in New York City, New York.

An Open Letter to Free Americans

In response to Dr. King's assassination, the author urges "Free Americans" to join the fight against racism.

Anonymous Criticism of MLK

An anonymous person wrote this letter to Dr. King, telling him that he is "directly responsible" for the murder of a 16 year old boy in Memphis, Tennessee.

Anonymous letter to MLK

An anonymous individual expresses their concern with the methods and efforts Dr. King is using to achieve his goals through the Civil Rights Movement.

Anonymous Letter to MLK

An unknown author questions Dr. King about his leadership and involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. He references various racial, political, and social events, and stresses that Dr. King is responsible for all the riots, violence and looting.

Anonymous Letter to Mrs. King following MLK's Assassination

This letter was written anonymously to Mrs. Coretta Scott King following the televised funeral of Dr. King. The author questions the nerve of Mrs. King to be in mourning, stating that she is no Jackie Kennedy and calling the entire thing a farce. In addition to accusing "The Black King," presumably Dr. King, of planning to burn D.C. and then swoop in to save the city, the author states their desire for African American leaders to receive "a belly full of lead."

Black Power

This is a chapter sermon for Dr. King's book "Where Do We Go From Here?" The civil rights leader traces the early development of Black Power and its eventual surge onto the national political scene. Though understood as a direct opposition to the nonviolent movement that organizations like SCLC, CORE, and SNCC originally supported, King describes Black Power as a "disappointment wrapped in despair."

Correspondence - Aftermath of Dr. King's Assassination, 4/5/68

This letter, originating from Chattanooga, TN on the day immediately following Dr. King's assassination, is a personal note of condolence and lament. In it the writer identifies Dr. King as "truly America's outstanding citizen of our time". The writer and addressee are unidentified.

Critical Postcard to MLK

The author of this document questions whether Dr. King is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize Honor.

Crusade For Citizenship

"Crusade For Citizenship," an initiative of the SCLC, illustrates the importance of Negro voters in the South. The brochure incorporates important facts to implement emphasis on how imperative the cause is.

Delegation of 11 from Local 237 Walk in Mourning March

This article explains the march that took place after Dr. King's assassination. Many people took part in the mourning march led by Coretta Scott King and Reverend Ralph Abernathy.

Dexter Echo: July 6, 1960

This July 1960 newsletter of The Dexter Echo is sent to Dr. and Mrs. King. The newsletter covers recent events of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, the church Dr. King pastored during his time in Birmingham, Alabama. The main article "Christian Control and Action Amid Social Tensions" questions how to manage life's tensions and discusses the nature of fear. The newsletter also includes an article on Men's Day and shares the news on various congregation members.

Final Plans for the Washington Poor People's Campaign

This document outlines the dates, times, places and events that will take place in preparation for the Washington Poor People's Campaign.

I've Been to the Mountaintop

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.

I've Been To The Mountaintop

"I've Been to the Mountaintop" is the last speech Dr. King delivered. A day after making this address at the Masonic Temple in Memphis, Tennessee, he was assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room. Dr. King spoke of faith, nonviolent protest and his support of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike. He urged both a march and a boycott against Memphis area businesses. Dr. King ended his speech by musing about his previous brush with death and other threats against him.

I've Been To The Mountaintop

Dr. King delivers the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech at the Masonic Temple in Memphis, TN.

Letter From Bessie Burrett to MLK

Bessie Burrett, a NAACP member, writes Dr. King asking for help and explaining the multiple incidences of racial injustice she and her husband have personally witnessed. Burrett describes her husband's injuries, which he obtained as a result of police brutality, and their struggles with unfair treatment in the court system. As a result, her husband is unable to work and they have mounting hospital and court fees to pay, creating a financial hardship for their family.

Letter from Franklin I. Gamwell with Enclosed Copy of the Interracial News Service Newsletter

Franklin I. Gamwell, of the Student Interracial Ministry, requests if Dr. King would like to have an intern student at Ebenezer Baptist Church for 1963.
Interracial News Service describes the experiences of many Student Interracial Ministry participants and the pastors of the churches they spent the summers with.

Letter from Gwedolyn Johnson to MLK

Gwedolyn Johnson of Friendship Baptist invites Dr. King to a public speaking engagement held on his behalf. She encourages Dr. King to speak directly to the youth in an effort to increase moral and social activism. She requests a specific date in addition to estimated traveling costs.

Letter from H.A. Gilliam to MLK about a Donation

H.A. Gilliam, Sr. writes to Dr. King enclosing a check for the advancement of the cause represented by the SCLC.

Letter From Harry A. Ploski to MLK

Harry A. Ploski writes Dr. King concerning a book he and Professor Roscoe Brown have written. Hoping to solicit endorsement, he encloses a copy of the table of contents and an outline of the topics addressed.

Letter from J. M. Lawson Jr. to MLK

Minister J. M. Lawson Jr. served as director of nonviolent education for SCLC from 1960 to 1967. In this letter to Dr. King he expresses concerns about program efforts for the summer and fall seasons. Mr. Lawson is conscious of the necessary redirection of the project and informs Dr. King that he has recommendations.

Letter from James Lawson to MLK

Rev. Jim Lawson encloses a check on behalf of Protestant missionaries wanting to support the civil rights movement. He mentions that he taught nonviolence to these missionaries and notes that they wanted the contribution to assist in a scholarship for a student that participated in the Birmingham campaign. Rev. Lawson was the individual who invited Dr. King to Memphis on his final mission to help the plight of disenfranchised santitation workers.

Letter from Joan Daves to MLK

Joan Daves, Literary Agent to Dr. King, addresses the correspondence, to Dr. King. The letter includes photostats of reviews for Dr. King's last book, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" The Chicago Tribune, New York Times Daily and Washington Star are just a couple of the newspapers that published reviews for the book.

Letter from M. L. Teer Regarding Housing Conditions

M. L. Teer writes a letter to Senator Robert F. Kennedy on behalf of her nephew, Robert Williams of Chicago, IL.

Letter from Mary Grooms to Coretta Scott King

Mrs. Mary H. Grooms writes Mrs. Coretta Scott King expressing her support for Dr. King and the upcoming March on Washington. She also requests that Dr. King reach out to leaders in the North who have sought to emulate his methods.

Letter from MLK to Jacquelyn Dowd

Dr. King informs Jacquelyn Dowd that he will not be able to speak as invited in Memphis.

Letter from MLK to Leslie Dunbar

Dr. King writes to Dr. Leslie Dunbar to assure her that the SCLC was indeed ready and able to administer CEP Grant Funds for that school year.

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