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Montgomery Improvement Association

Dr. King writes in Stride Toward Freedom that after the arrest and trial of Rosa Parks, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy of First Baptist Church, E. D. (Edgar Daniel) Nixon of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Rev. Edgar N. French of Hilliard Chapel AME Zion Church “discussed the need for some organization to guide and direct the protest.” Rev. L. Roy Bennett of Mt. Zion AME Zion Church called a meeting of several community leaders that afternoon. On December 5, 1955, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) was born, with Dr. King elected as its first president. After the Montgomery Bus Boycott victory, the MIA went on to be a founding organization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Associated Archive Content : 63 results

Letter to the Public of Montgomery, Alabama

The ministerial leaders of Montgomery address the problems of discrimination and segregation within the city's bus system. The ministers form a plan of action to eliminate such practices and attain a equal society for all.

Liberation: Our Struggle

Dr. King contributes an article to the "Liberation" publication explaining the reasons for the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. He conveys the issues involving segregation on buses, the demise of Negro inferiority and the miscalculations of white Montgomery civic leaders. According to Dr. King, "Every attempt to end the protest by intimidation, by encouraging Negroes to inform, by force and violence, further cemented the Negro community and brought sympathy for our cause from men of good will all over the world."

Looking Forward: The Montgomery Improvement Association, Inc.

This pamphlet outlines the ten points the Montgomery Improvement Association uses to promote healthy race relations.

Memorandum from Jacob Seidenberg to Participants

Jacob Seidenberg, the Executive Director of the President's Committee on Government Contracts, provides details on the agenda to the participants in the Religious Leaders Conference. Dr. King was one of those participants.

Memorandum from Ralph D. Abernathy to SCLC Board Members and Executive Staff

Rev. Ralph Abernathy informs the board members and executive staff of SCLC that Dr. King is taking a leave of absence for two months to write his book, "Where Do We Go From Here?" During Dr. King's absence, Rev. Abernathy took over the activities of the SCLC.

MLK and New York Protest Meeting Speakers

The SCLC releases a statement to the media regarding Dr. King and other Southern leaders trip to New York to address a series of mass protest meetings. This document outlines a schedule of meetings and also announces that Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Actor Harry Belafonte will join the protest.

MLK Announces End of Montgomery Bus Boycott

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.

MLK Flyer: "Integrated Bus Suggestions"

In this document, Dr. King and the Reverend W.J. Powell list under "The Montgomery Improvement Association" guidelines to mitigate potential conflicts in the transition to integrated buses. The principle of nonviolence is present throughout the document.

MLK Interview with Glenn E. Smiley

This early (1956) interview with Dr. King has as its center the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a seminal event in Dr. King's career and the Civil Rights Movement.

MLK Postcard - American Negro Emancipation Centennial

The American Negro Emancipation Centennial issued this 1964 postcard containing Dr. King's brief biography. The postcard was designed to be used as a study guide in Negro history.

MLK Report: Annual Address, MIA

In his final address to the Montgomery Improvement Association, Dr. King gives a status report on the various initiatives of the organization. He also gives a final farewell in hopes that the MIA is challenged to continue to fight in the struggle for equality.

Montgomery Bus Protest Planning Agenda

This outline documents information regarding the Montgomery Bus Protest.

Montgomery Improvement Association Press Release About Emergency Conference

This press release from the Montgomery Improvement Association discusses an emergency conference called to address strategies for the integrated transportation campaign.

My Trip to the Land of Gandhi

Dr. King documents his travel throughout India beginning in February 1959 with his wife and Dr. Lawrence Reddick. During his stay Dr. King reflects on the manifestation of Gandhi's nonviolent teachings in low crime rates amidst the impoverished living conditions. Dr. King also addresses the notion of a "divided India," a country deliberating the varying effects of Western modernization.

New South: The Current Crisis In Race Relations

Dr. King, as President of the Montgomery Improvement Association, examines the race relations crisis. He discusses how segregation makes the Negro feel inferior and unaccepted. Dr. King also affirms that he will not accept a system of violence and the "evils of segregation."

Out of Segregation's Long Night

Dr. King addresses the crisis of race relations in America by asserting that there would not be a crisis if blacks accepted inferiority and injustice. He also discusses the physical and spiritual harm that segregation and slavery has caused for blacks and the effect that violence has on the community. Dr. King closes with remarks regarding nonviolence and what it truly represents.

Press Release for the Southern Negro Leaders Conference

Dr. King, Rev. C.K. Steele, and Rev. F. L. Shuttlesworth called for an emergency conference to strategize and unify further bus desegregation efforts in the south. This is the press release announcing the meeting of the Southern Negro Leaders Conference on Transportation and Non-violent Integration. The agenda was ambitious, but specific and explicit. One of the outcomes of the meeting was the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, with Dr. King chosen to lead.

Ralph David Abernathy: A Man of the People

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference published this booklet profiling Ralph David Abernathy. The articles describe his background, how he got involved in the Civil Rights Movement and the future of the SCLC under his leadership.

Recommendations Made to Executive Board of Montgomery Improvement Association

Dr. King makes recommendations to the Executive Board of Montgomery Improvement Association. He suggests developing a monthly newspaper to inform friends of the movement activity and scheduling weekly mass meetings.

SCLC Affiliates

Tom O. writes Mrs. King attaching an example of a brochure which entails a description SCLC's affiliate program. Tom O. also insures Mrs. King that the color in which the brochure is printed is not final.

SCLC Brochure: This is SCLC

SCLC outlines its history, achievements, initiatives and leadership in this brochure.

SCLC Project Report

The staff of SCLC provides a memorandum report to supporters regarding the status of current programs and projects. Important financial facts about the organization are also included.

Statement Before the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee

Dr. King addresses the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee on the issues of civil rights, segregation, and voters registration. He urges the party to join the crusade for social justice and equality for all.

Statement by the President of the Montgomery Improvement Association

Dr. King makes a public statement regarding the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. The Supreme Court rendered a decision making separate but equal unconstitutional. Dr. King states that the next course of action that should be taken is the implementation of this noble decision and the end of the long night of enforced segregation.

Statement by the President of the Montgomery Improvement Association

As the President of Montgomery Improvement Association, Dr. King elaborates on the past twelve months and the city's efforts to fight against racial injustice through the bus boycott. Their journey concluded victoriously with the acknowledgment of the Supreme Court that invalidated segregated transportation. Dr. King informs the Montgomery community that they are to "return to the buses" on a "non-segregated basis."

Telegram from the Montgomery Improvement Association to Leaders of Birmingham

The Montgomery Improvement Association office staff sends Dr. King, Rev. Shuttlesworth, Rev. Abernathy and other Birmingham civil rights leaders words of encouragement.

Tenth Annual Institute of the Montgomery Improvement Association

This program for the Tenth Annual Institute of the Montgomery Improvement Association gives a detailed history of the organization's events from 1955 to 1965. "Highlights At A Glance" include: accounts of violence and community bombings, school integration, freedom rides, The Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the establishment of the SCLC. Photographs of leadership, churches, voter registration, and marches appear throughout. This document also shows Dr. King's handwritten notes, copies of related news articles, and the individual programs for each day of the Institute.

The Martin Luther King Column

Dr. King talks about Montgomery, Alabama and the accomplishments that they have made toward civil rights.

The Martin Luther King Column (1)

Dr. King discusses the accomplishments of the Montgomery bus boycott, the challenges Negros will face, and the leadership skills of Ralph Abernathy.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott Story

This dramatic story gives a riveting account of the Montgomery Bus Boycott movement and its aim to end segregation of the public transit in Montgomery, Alabama after the arrest of Rosa Parks. E.D. Nixon and other ministers illustrate the philosophy of nonviolent tactics employed by the Montgomery Improvement Association and their struggle for "cosmic companionship."

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