Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas was the landmark U.S.
Supreme Court decision of May 17, 1954 that declared racial
segregation in schools unconstitutional. The case was a consolidation
of five cases handled by the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP). Thurgood Marshall argued it before the
Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren. The unanimous ruling
overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson judgment that had established
the “separate but equal” doctrine, declaring it a
violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
The ruling strengthened the case for integration. Although Dr. King
cited the monumental nature of the opinion, he deplored the slow pace
of desegregation. King chose the anniversary of the decision for the
1962 launch of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights.

Associated Archive Content : 57 results

Address by MLK at Golden Anniversary Conference of National Urban League

Dr. King gives an address at the National Urban Leagues's Golden Anniversary Conference in New York City. He speaks on the subject, "The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness" and discusses the Negroes new sense of "somebodiness." The factors that contribute to this new sense of dignity include a population shift from rural to urban life, rapid educational advance, gradual improvement of economic status, Supreme Court decisions outlawing segregation in the public schools, and awareness that freedom is a part of a world-wide struggle.

Address by MLK at SCLC Ministers Conference

Dr. King addresses those in attendance at the Southern Christian Ministers Conference. He brings words of encouragement to those working diligently for social change in Mississippi. He speaks words of promise that things will change since the Supreme Court has ruled segregation unconstitutional and he gives examples of how things are slowly changing. However, he acknowledges that there is still much work to be done, especially in the South. Dr. King lists actions that must be at the top of everyone's list to be taken care of.

Address for the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights

This address was delivered by Dr. King at the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights event on May 17, 1962. Dr. King opens by discussing various anniversaries that coincide with the event and represent similar struggles for justice including the Supreme Court school desegregation ruling, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Henry David Thoreau's death.

Address to the National Bar Association

Dr. King shares with the National Bar Association of Milwaukee, the history of segregation and why African Americans fight for equality.

American Education: Segregation, Northern Style

This article from American Education focuses on the problem of de facto segregation in Northern and Southern cities that results from discrimination in housing and contributes to further housing discrimination and minority unemployment. De facto segregation is as detrimental as legalized (de jure) segregation. The author provides an overview of efforts around the country to eliminate segregation in public schools and some of the difficulties encountered.

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy on House Resolution 7152

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy comments on House Bill 7152, the bill that eventually culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Kennedy argues that the bill is a "test" to white Americans and that it must "effectively eliminate racial discrimination in voting, education and in employment." He addresses the eleven titles of the bill and describes the differences between the current bill and the version introduced by the president. Kennedy finally asserts that if the bill is not passed, then "the whole nation will be the loser."

Background Information on March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

This passage provides a reason as to why the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom had to occur. The Brown vs. Board Supreme Court decision, the Prayer Pilgrimage, and other peaceful demonstrations all resulted in the march.

Brotherhood Cannot Be a Theory

This newspaper clipping of The Southern Israelite features segments on the Atlanta banquet honoring Dr. King's acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. Given on his return to the States, there were twelve hundred and fifty Atlanta citizens in attendance. Included articles are: welcoming comments by Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, a tribute by Archbishop Paul Hallinan, and a transcription of Dr. King's speech.

Challenge to New Age - Importance of Voting

In this challenge to the public, the author lists a number of reasons supporting the importance of voting in the black community, then concludes with a call to join the ranks of the SCLC.

Convocation on Equal Justice Under the Law

This is a transcript of remarks made by Dr. King at the Convocation on Equal Justice Under Law, sponsored by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on May 28, 1964.

Does MLK Have the Right? the Qualifications? the Duty? to Speak Out on Peace

SCLC National Executive Director Andrew Young addresses recent articles criticizing Dr. King's expressions on peace. Young argues that these attacks are largely based on misconceptions of Dr. King's views. He states that the media is quick to attack Dr. King, but whenever critics retract their statements, nothing is reported. To combat this, Young includes a sampling of accurate articles on Dr. King to "redress the imbalance."

Excerpt: "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" 1967

The "Quote" publication, from Indianapolis, issued a review of Dr. King's last book. Under the heading, "Book Review in Quotes", a preview of 10 quotations from "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" are listed, in this document. Black power, nonviolence and other subject matters are highlighted in the quotations. Dr. King's book was published and released in 1967.

Facing the Challenge of a New Life

Dr. King uses Greek Philosophy, the Christian conception of agape love, and the need for nonviolent resistance as a guideline of "Facing the Challenge of a New Life" in America. Throughout the sermon, he encourages African Americans to remain committed to the nonviolent principles of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the precepts of Christian living to facilitate the birth of a new way of life in an America dealing with violent conflicts over social conditions.

Gandhi Society for Human Rights Address by MLK

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.

Give Decency A Chance in the South...

The Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) is working toward eliminating "all forms of racial segregation in the Southern and border States." This brochure highlights SCEF's accomplishments, supporters, programs and future.

Hungry Club Speech

This document is a draft copy of Dr. King's Hungry Club Speech, in which he speaks on the subject "America's Chief Moral Dilemma." He states that the dilemma is "the means by which we live have out distanced the ends for which we live." Dr. King thoroughly discusses the three major evils that contribute to this dilemma: the evil of racism, the evil poverty, and the evil of war. He also discusses the progress of the Civil Rights Movement as it enters a new phase of fighting for "genuine equality."

Letter from Ben Cashion to MLK

Ben Cashion writes Dr. King sharing some of his observations. Cashion suggests that Dr. King takes his time and get closer to God to provoke efficient change.

Letter to Dr. King from Ralph M. Otwell Requesting an Address to the 10th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Mr. Otwell, representing the Chicago Sun-Times, has requested that Dr. King writes an address to be published in the Sunday edition, regarding the 10th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Additionally, Mr. Otwell assures Dr. King that this will be an opportunity to promote his book, "Why We Can't Wait".

Manuscript by MLK dated 2/3/62 entitled "People in Action"

In this 1962 draft for his column in the New York Amsterdam News, Dr. King emphasizes that school desegregation and the Rosa Parks incident are crucial turning points in the Civil Rights Movement.

May 17 -- 11 Years Later

Dr. King discusses the eleven years since the Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were not constitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. He explains that it was not until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that people began to understand the harms of segregation.

Memo from Harry Boyte to MLK

Mr. Boyte asks Dr. King to review the document "ACTION FOR DEMOCRACY." He also attaches two tables for his review.

MLK Address - The Association of The Bar of the City of New York

Dr. King gives an address to the Association of The Bar of the City of New York at the Hilton Hotel in New York. He praises lawyers for using their knowledge to aid the Civil Rights Movement. He states that Negro lawyers bring wisdom and a determination to win to the courtroom. Dr. King also defines an unjust law as a law that is "out of harmony with moral law of the universe."

MLK Address at the 53rd National Convention of the NAACP

This document is Dr. King's address to the 53rd Annual Convention of the NAACP in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King discusses the following myths in this address: time will solve all problems, education can only solve problems of racial conflict, the Negro vote can do little to alter present conditions, and the practice of nonviolence is ineffective. Dr. King also speaks on "disunity," and states "the law may not make a man love me, but it may keep him from lynching me."

MLK Address at the National Biennial Convention

Dr. King delivers this speech at the National Biennial Convention of the American Jewish Congress. The convention took place May 1, 1958 in Miami Beach, Florida. Dr. King discusses how the Jewish and Negro communities are unified by the escape of bondage. They share a common fight against the deadly enemies of oppression. He continues on to discuss the things that need to be done in order for African Americans to reach great potential along with the importance of fighting for and obtaining democracy.

MLK Draft Text Retrieved by T.D. Johnston

The document is a dedication from T. D. Johnston of Huntsville, Alabama to the King Center. Mr. Johnston acknowledges being on an Eastern Airline plane with Dr. King in 1961, where he noticed that Dr. King tossed a speech text that he found. He decided to hold on to the document for preservation and donated it to the King Center. Martin Luther King, III received the document on behalf of the King Center.

MLK on the Seating of Julian Bond

Georgia State Legislature has refused to seat Representative-Elect Julian Bond. Dr. King expresses his disdain for the social injustice. His plan of action is to combat this prejudice by rallying members of the white and black community to engage in protest.

MLK Remarks at The World March Toward Human Rights Luncheon

Dr. King addresses the 25th anniversary of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Dr. King delivers remarks honoring the work of the Fund in combating the system of racial segregation and striving for human rights. He advocates the need for current civil rights legislation, but finds congressional hesitation frustrating and problematic. Referencing the 1964 Civil Right's Act, King is convinced that if the bill is not passed, the "nation will drift toward its moral and political doom."

MLK Speech at Nobel Peace Prize Recognition Dinner

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."

MLK Speech at SCLC Staff Retreat

Dr. King addresses the staff of the SCLC at a retreat in Frogmore, South Carolina. He divides his speech into three parts: "whence we have come, where we have come, and where do we go from here." Dr. King thoroughly discusses his thoughts on Communism, the practice of nonviolence, the belief that racism is an "ontological affirmation,"and the weaknesses of Black Power.

MLK Statement Regarding Desegregation

Dr. King discusses the end of the Old South and segregation. He lists urbanization, federal intervention and the unrest of Negroes as key ingredients in breaking down the old system.

Pages