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Direct Action

Direct action is the strategic use of nonviolent tactics and methods to bring an opponent or oppressive party into dialogue to resolve an unjust situation. It is used as a moral force to illustrate, document and counter injustices. Gene Sharp originally wrote of 198 methods but the number keeps growing. The techniques and tactics for direct action include rallies, letter-writing campaigns, vigils, petitions, fasts, walks and marches, civil disobedience and boycotts. In Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. King mentions four steps of nonviolent campaigns: fact-finding, negotiation, self-purification and direct action. These can be seen, for example, in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Freedom Rides.

Associated Archive Content : 142 results

People in Action: Recognition and Opportunity

Dr. King states there are two basic elements to human rights: recognition and opportunity.

Program of the Chicago Freedom Movement

The SCLC and the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) issues a program addressing the goals of the Chicago Freedom Movement. The Chicago Freedom Movement is composed of a coalition of organizations who have decided to eradicate slums, ghettos and racism from the city.

Prospectus for Department of Affiliates

Herbert Coulton, Director of Affiliates, gives members of the SCLC a list of requirements for positions within the organization.

Public Meeting Program Agenda

This document outlines the participants of a two-day public meeting beginning on September 26, 1962. Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth presides over the meeting in which the "Rosa Parks Freedom Award" is presented by Rosa Parks and Adam Clayton Powell.

Resolutions of Institute on Non-Violent Resistance to Segregation

This document contains SCLC resolutions of July 22-24, 1959, regarding nonviolence. The resolutions include: commending the 50th Anniversary Convention of the NAACP, thanking the staff of Spelman College, and calling upon organizations to "initiate plans against forms of racial discrimination."

Saturday Review: Behind the Selma March

Dr. King describes the events surrounding the Selma-Montgomery Civil Rights March of 1965.

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 Annual Meeting

This program outlines the schedule of events for SCLC's 1961 annual meeting.

SCLC Annual Report by MLK, 1965

Dr King delivered this report at the SCLC's ninth annual national convention in Birmingham, Alabama. Serving essentially as a State of the Union address for the SCLC, the report touches on the major topics of the Civil Rights Movement and the recent achievements and goals of the SCLC.

SCLC Board Meeting Agenda

This document is a proposed agenda for an SCLC board meeting, which includes Dr. King's notes of additional agenda items.

SCLC Booklet

This booklet describes the programs and actions of the SCLC. It explains why it is a movement organization as well as defining the King-Abernathy tradition.

SCLC Brochure: This is SCLC

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

SCLC Executive Board Approves Montgomery March

Dr. King’s handwritten notes report on SCLC Executive Board approval of four of his recommendations: a March on the State Capitol in Montgomery, a nationwide economic withdrawal from Christmas shopping to commemorate the tragic deaths of children in Birmingham, a massive direct action program in Danville, Virginia, and selective buying campaign in the South to get better jobs for Negroes

SCLC Financial Report

Ralph D. Abernathy releases the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Annual Fiscal Report for 1962-1963.

SCLC News Bulletin

This SCLC bulletin to supporters details the organization's progress in numerous locations, including its growing presence in northern cities such as Cleveland, Operation Breadbasket in Chicago, and the Citizenship Education Program. A "Fiscal Facts" section stresses that Dr. King receives no salary from SCLC, nor any other income from his work with the organization.

SCLC Newsletter: August 1963

This is volume one of the SCLC Newsletter, printed for the month and year of August 1963. Several topics are covered including; the March on Washington, Rebuilding Bombed Churches, the WCLC, and Negro voting registration.

SCLC Newsletter: January-February 1966

This early 1966 SCLC Newsletter reports the organization's recent activity. Main columns focus on Hosea Williams' voter registration work in Birmingham, Alabama and efforts towards slum eradication in Chicago and Atlanta. The document also includes photographic content of Dr. King's public speaking endeavors and evidence of the slum crisis. Consistent school inequities and segregation are the last topics discussed.

SCLC Newsletter: June-July 1965

The cover story for this 1965 SCLC Newsletter features Dr. King leading a March in Chicago, and also includes the usual wide gamut of Civil Rights Movement issues. Editor Ed Clayton's column discusses the "loss of fear" among Negroes, who "never again will be systematically excluded from office, or driven back from the voting booth."

SCLC Newsletter: March 1963

SCLC highlights its affiliate activities, fundraisers and efforts to rebuild burned churches in this newsletter from March of 1963. One of the cover stories focuses on the repeal of segregation laws in Albany, Georgia. The "Profile of the Month" article features Milton A. Reid and discusses his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.

SCLC Newsletter: October 1963

This document contains the SCLC's newletter for October 1963. The articles featured in the newsletter include: SCLC's recent accomplishments, details of the Sixteen Street Baptist Church bombing, the seventh annual SCLC convention, data regarding employment for Negroes in Alabama, and gains made in St. Augustine, Florida. Also featured are numerous photographs of Dr. King and notable Civil Rights leaders.

SCLC Newsletter: October-November 1965

This SCLC newsletter depicts the courage of SCLC workers putting their lives on the line while fighting for civil rights. The newsletter also highlights pictures from SCLC's ninth annual convention in Birmingham Alabama and a children's book about Dr. King.

SCLC Newsletter: September 1962

Dr. King discusses the terrible cost of securing voting rights for blacks, especially in Leesburg, Georgia, where the Shady Grove Baptist Church was bombed and burned following the SNCC's use of the space to register voters.

SCLC Program Areas

This flyer explains seven SCLC programs. These programs include voter registration, political education, citizenship education, Operation Breadbasket, direct action, Operation Dialogue, nonviolence and leadership training.

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.

SCLC Strategy North/South

This document addresses indifference of the Northern and Southern movement contributions. The direct-action techniques that are exercised in the South do not exist in the North. The SCLC is in need of a fundamental and effective political action in the North. The primary focus is to lay political foundations for the basic social and economic reforms throughout the nation.

SCLC Voter Registration Report

After having a successful election year as a result of voter registration in Georgia and Tennessee in 1962, the SCLC decided to approach the whole South in attempting to get African Americans to vote. This report gives an overview of the voting situation at that time across the southern states. Other organizations, such as SNCC and the Southwide Voter Education Project, are also referenced as key organizations who helped influenced voter registration.

SCLC: MLK Still Most Influential Negro According to Studies

The SCLC issues a news release stating that Dr. King is the most influential Negro leader in America. Dr. King, along with other prominent members of the SCLC, was serving a five-day jail sentence in Birmingham, Alabama at the time of the news release.

SCLC: Summary Of Ninth Annual Convention

This summary of the SCLC's Ninth Annual Convention describes events that were instrumental in the formation of the organization. The document outlines the ongoing projects of the organization and offers proposals for future efforts.

Special to the New York Times: A Cry of Hate or a Cry for Help

Dr. King addresses the recent riots occurring in the county of Watts near Los Angeles. He believes the riots are not solely race-driven but are also motivated by unemployment. The riots are utilized as a way to be heard, and not as a way to destroy.

Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam

This letter informs fellow members of the Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam of the successes of their organization and serves as a call to action on the upcoming steps.

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