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Civil Rights

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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.

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.

Current Magazine

This Current Magazine issue on racism in the U.S. features an article "Is Direct Action Necessary" by Dr. King, as well as pieces by James Meredith, James Reston, and others.

Declaration of Independence by MLK

Dr. King writes an article making reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln, and the historical impact they both have had on the economy and what is described to be a social revolution. It is noted that this article is intended for a December, 1962 issue of a publication.

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.

Democratic National Convention Platform Committee Statement

In this statement delivered August 22, 1964, Dr. King outlines three urgent priorities for the Committee and the party as a whole: enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, furthering voting rights and the war on poverty. He asks that the platform include a recommendation that a panel of voting rights marshals be established and that the Convention support a Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.

Desegregation and the Future

This document contains the first eight pages of Dr. King's address at the annual luncheon of the National Committee for Rural Schools at New York's Commodore Hotel in 1956. In it, he condemns segregation as an evil which has been allowed to exist in American life for too many decades. Dr. King points out that many states now stand in opposition to desegregation, and the federal government and the Supreme Court must now face how to make this new legislation a reality.

Detroit Free Press: Dr. King Strengthens an Anti-War Coalition

This article, which appeared in the 'As We See It' column of the Detroit Free Press, reports Dr. King's speech in New York from April 4, 1967 on his opposition to the Vietnam War.

Do the Following to Keep National Attention Focused on Selma

Dr. King composes a list of activities that will keep national attention focused on Selma. Written on Waldorf Astoria Hotel stationary, the list includes measures such as contacting top level government officials like President Johnson, organizing a march, and enlisting the help of celebrities. Dr. King concludes the list by emphasizing "We must insist that voting is the issue and here Selma has dirty hands."

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."

Dr. Abernathy Says Full Steam Ahead in '67

Dr. Abernathy recaps accomplishments of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for 1966. He states several objectives for the organization's efforts for 1967.

Dr. Abernathy Selected for World Peace Mission

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference announces that Ralph D. Abernathy and his wife will embark on a world-wide mission for peace. Abernathy will serve as a delegate to the International Inter-religious Symposium on Peace.

Dr. King To Lead Holy Land Tour

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference issues a new release regarding Dr. King's planned Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in November.

Dr. Paul Arthur Scilpp Speech in Illinois

In this address delivered before the National Assembly for Progress in Equality of Opportunity in Housing, Dr. Paul Arthur Schilpp speaks about equality between races, "pure" race, and voting rights for Negroes.

Draft Letter from MLK Regarding Grand Freedom March

Dr. King addresses his "Brother-In-Christ" requesting assistance for an up and coming March for Freedom held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He makes three requests including financial and social support.

Draft Letter from MLK to Mrs. Pickett

Dr. King responds to Mrs. Pickett's poem and some questions that she sent. He offers condolences for the loss of her husband and promises that the "redemptive suffering of few brings new life to many."

Draft of a Speech Regarding the Chicago Freedom Movement

This is a draft copy of Dr. King's speech on the Chicago Freedom Movement. The intention of this movement is to end slums in Chicago. Dr. King calls upon the poverty-stricken Negro, the middle class Negro, and the white community for assistance with this movement. Dr. King also states that years after the March on Washington, he has seen his dream turn into a nightmare due to the murders of civil rights activists.

Draft of I Have a Dream

This version of Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech reveals important changes to ideas and phrases that Dr. King chose either to alter or omit completely the day he addressed the throng gathered before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dr. King's argument against the "normalcy" of bigotry remained a key message on the day he took the podium.

Draft of MLK Response to the Establishment of a Bi-Racial Commission in Saint Augustine, Florida

This is a draft of a response for Dr. King to make regarding the establishment of a bi-racial commission in St. Augustine, Florida to address the issues of equality, human dignity and racial justice.

Draft of SCLC 1964 Annual Report

This is a draft of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 1964 Annual Report. The document outlines developments that occurred in pursuits such as voter registration and Operation Breadbasket. The piece concludes with commentary on the future of the organization, specifically "deeper involvement in political action."

Draft of Speech for SCLC in Nashville

Dr. King is outlining a speech he later presented to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Nashville.

Draft of Speech On Passage of 1965 Voting Rights Act

Dr. King discusses the prevalence of racial issues in society. Discrimination and segregation still occur but through means in which the government has not declared unconstitutional. One of the main problems discussed was housing discrimination. Many African Americans were forced to live in slum housing in bad areas because they were not able to buy a house in the "white neighborhoods." Dr. King states that this type of social injustice cannot continue if the nation wants to progress.

Draft of Speech to the National Press Club

Dr. King's speech to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. was delivered a week after he was incarcerated in Albany, Georgia. This draft shows Dr. King's notes on his address about the Civil Rights Movement.

Draft of Statement "Vote No on State Question 409" by MLK

In this draft of a statement, Dr. King discusses the misnomer of 'right-to-work,' stating that the law is against Civil Rights as it is anti-union.

Draft of Statement by MLK on his Involvement With the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Dr. King wishes to clarify his endorsement of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. He states that he did not mean to imply that there was a civil rights issue in the "collective bargaining election," but rather that he admires the accomplishments of the labor movement.

Draft of Statement to TIME Magazine from MLK

In this statement, Dr. King is pleased to know that the President is calling for new civil rights legislation. Unfortunately, the President did not express anything new nor directly address the issue. Dr. King emphasizes the urgent need for the President to demand vigorous civil rights legislation in order to expedite school integration and the right to vote.

Draft Speech for Atlanta Nobel Peace Prize Reception

Dr. King drafts a speech that he will make in Atlanta for the reception honoring his Nobel Peace Prize winning. In the speech he offers his gratitude to friends and family who supported him in his efforts. Dr. King also briefly discusses the issue of racial injustice and the continued fight for equality.

Editor of The Nation Offers Unsolicited Advice

The editor of The Nation solicits Dr. King's annual article for the next publication. This year, McWilliams suggests that Dr. King expand beyond the usual update on the civil rights agenda. He then offers advice that King consider moving to New York, where the political environment is right for promoting ambitious programs and his leadership ability would be able to shine.

Epitaph for a First Lady: Eleanor Roosevelt

Dr. Kings writes an epitaph discussing Eleanor Roosevelt and what she stood for.

Eulogy for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Victims

This is Dr. King?s eulogy for three of the four young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. God gives man the right to exercise good and evil, King says, but God wills that everything will happen for the good ? that out of tragedy comes redemption. Martyred in the struggle for freedom, the girls have become symbols of the crusade and of the faith that sustains it. King speaks of forgiving those who murdered the girls and the need to transform the system, the way of life, and the philosophy that led to the bombing.

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