Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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

Statement by Albert A. Raby

Albert A. Raby releases a statement denouncing the Illinois State Senate for rejecting an equal housing bill. Mr. Raby calls for a tent-in and rally at the construction site for the proposed Weston plant. Raby cites Illinois is in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that federal funding for the Weston Project be terminated.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

This pamphlet details the history, programs and purpose of The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Sunday with Martin Luther King, Jr. Radio Sermon on WAAF-AM Chicago, IL

This copy of Dr. King's segment on WAAF-AM radio, entitled "Sunday with Martin Luther King," explains the plight of the "Negro" in the South as similar to the oppression experienced by the Israelites in the book of Exodus.

Telegram to MLK Regarding a Social Eruption in Chicago

Junius Griffin sends Dr. King a typed version of his statement on the violence occurring in a predominately Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago. Through the incident, Dr. King notes the callousness of law enforcement in the area.

Terror in Louisiana

The article describes the terrorist actions occurring within the area of north Louisiana. An African American dentist by the name of C.O. Simpkins was one of the victims targeted due to his activism in Civil Rights. Due to Simpkins large presence within the movement, his house was bombed and burned down. This is just one example of the constant hatred and violence many African Americans had to go through to gain equality within the South.

The 13th World Conference against A and H Bombs

The Japan Council against A(tom) and H(ydrogen) Bombs marks the subjects of discussion for their 13th World Conference. The purpose of the conference is to eliminate the usage of nuclear weaponry in U.S. aggression against Vietnam. The Council is also advocating for an end of the Vietnam War and reparations for those harmed by the use of nuclear weapons.

The Casualties of The War In Vietnam

Dr. King speaks on behalf of the United States presence in Vietnam at a symposium held in Los Angeles, California. He addresses the moral, social, and political causalities that arise as result of war. Moreover, he urges the powers that be to allocate resources for good and rather than evil.

The Catholic Review: Letter From Birmingham Jail

Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" is printed in this publication along with articles and columns illustrating the Church's civil rights activities. Efforts included priests taking part in direct action to integrate an amusement park and an archbishop backing the civil rights bill.

The Chicago Plan

Dr. King makes a public statement addressing the poor economic and housing conditions in the North. Dr. King specifically identifies Chicago as the prototype for the conditions occurring within this region. He describes a three phase plan detailing how to properly address and manage the problems effectively.

The Future of Integration

Dr. King addresses the issue of the Future of Integration to an assembly at the State University of Iowa on November 11, 1959.

The Meaning of the Sit-Ins

This document describes the growing civil rights movement. It discusses the tactics various civil rights organizations are using and briefly touches on the tactics of opposition groups.

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."

The New Frontiersmen

William Miller recaps the recent presidential elections and the important issues President John F. Kennedy will have to address. President Kennedy has proposed a new program called the New Frontier, which for many African Americans, is believed to be a part of the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement. Miller states that the Civil Rights Movement is not one that can be overlooked by the President and must be seriously addressed if he wants to stay true to his political platform.

The Other America

Dr. King delivered this speech, "The Other America," for the Local 1199 Salute to Freedom program. The speech emphasized the need to address poverty, the Vietnam War, and race relations in America.

The Quiet Work: How to Win Jobs and Influence Businessmen

This SCLC news release details the history of Operation Breadbasket and its progress in the field of economic opportunity for African-Americans.

The Sword That Heals

Dr. King, in this article adapted from his book "Why We Can't Wait," evaluates the intimidation the Negro faces as a result of securing freedom. He uses the campaigns in Birmingham, Albany, and Montgomery as backdrops to depict how the use of nonviolent direct action causes unrelenting sacrifice in the face of grave danger. This article was published in this quarterly summer 1964 issue of "The Critic."

The Witness: MLK Writes from Birmingham Jail

"The Witness" publishes the second part of Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham City Jail." In this pivotal document, Dr. King expresses dissatisfaction with the white moderate and the white church regarding their silent stance on segregation and discrimination. He urges individuals to understand the delays, broken promises, and intimidation Negroes face to secure their freedom.

The World's March Toward Human Rights

Dr. King addresses the issue of Equal Justice Under the Law at a convocation of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Transcript of National Educational Television's For Freedom Now

For Freedom Now, with host Dr. Kenneth Clark, is television’s first exchange of ideas by the leaders of five organizations engaged in securing full civil rights for Negroes. Featured guests are Dr. King of SCLC, Whitney Young of the National Urban League, James Farmer of CORE, James Forman of SNCC, and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP.

Unsigned Memo to Arthur Shores

In this memo to Mr. Shores, the author wants to get an update status on eight clients that served sentences in Birmingham for parading without a permit. Dr. King was sent a copy of the memo.

Unwise and Untimely?

This pamphlet from the Fellowship of Reconciliation features a letter written from eight Alabama Clergymen to Dr. King. The Clergymen express their discontent with the movement and Dr. King brings forth a response. The response is later known as one of Dr. King's famous texts, "Letter from Birmingham City Jail." The pamphlet also includes Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech from the 1963 March on Washington.

Young Americans Newsletter

This Young Americans newsletter covers topics such as: The Vietnam War, Young Americans for Freedom, and the usage of violence for a good cause.

Pages