Themes

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Intersecting Movements

Martin Luther King Jr. was not only a leader in the campaign to end segregation, but also a brilliant coordinator, working with national leaders from a variety of movements who were in solidarity with that struggle. The African-American community itself was complex and dynamic; within it there were leaders who represented a variety of perspectives and efforts directed towards justice, fairness and equality in the United States and around the world. This theme is intended to provide a selection of the documents that represent Dr. King’s engagement of intersecting social movements. It includes correspondence related to organized labor, black nationalism, pan-Africanism and peace organizations.

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Telegram from Jeffrey Archer to MLK

Wednesday, December 2, 1964

Jeffery Archer of Brasenose College requests a signed copy of one of Dr. King's books for the Oxfam Campaign.

Letter from Franklin W. Thomas to MLK

Friday, June 2, 1967

Franklin W. Thomas writes to Dr. King to apologize for the delay in honoring his participation in the Hungry Club Forum 20th Anniversary Series.

Rio Grande Farm Workers Bulletin

Wednesday, February 1, 1967

This bulletin describes the difficulty that migrant farm laborers have encountered forming organizations to improve economic conditions.

The Many Faces of Black Power

The author identifies several approaches to the notion of Black Power. The author concludes that Black Power is "a programmatic concept capable of objective definition", "it presents many difficulties", and that the negatives have outweighed the positives.

Telegram from Memphis Sanitation Workers' to MLK

Sunday, October 1, 1967

Members of the Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike express an urgent need for Dr. King to travel to Memphis in order to aid them in their crusade.

Letter from MLK to Congressman Ogden R. Reid

Friday, February 19, 1965

Dr. King informs Congressman Reid (R-New York) of the positive impact he left on Negro citizens during his visit to Selma, Alabama.

Letter from Leon Lowry to the King's

Saturday, December 8, 1962

A. Leon Lowry invites the Kings to speak at Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in Florida for their Men's and Women's services.

The Ben Bella Conversation

Dr. King summarizes his recent two-hour meeting with Premier Ahmed Ben Bella of the newly-formed Algerian Republic. He mentions that Ben Bella was intimately familiar with the details of the civil rights movement and repeatedly said or inferred that “we are brothers.” King states that “the battle of the Algerians against colonialism and the battle of the Negro against segregation is a common struggle.” There are international implications for the US if it doesn’t solve its human rights problem: the nation will become a second-rate power in the world.

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.

Letter to Dr. King from Elder G.W. Watkins

Friday, August 2, 1957

Elder G. W. Watkins writes Dr. King requesting that he and his organization join the fight to regain Cassius Clay's (Muhammad Ali) title as the Heavy Weight Boxing Champion of the World.

Temple Sholom Concert Forum Committee Announces MLK as Guest Lecturer

Chicago's Temple Sholom encourages interested parties to reserve their tickets soon, given the widespread enthusiasm for Dr. King's upcoming speaking engagement.

Support Negro Business

This ad by Operation Breadbasket contains a letter from Dr. King promoting support of Negro businesses.

Letter from MLK to Rev. John A. Clark

Tuesday, July 11, 1967

Dr. King expresses his agreement with Reverend Clark regarding the church's lax position on "racial justice and brotherhood among men." Although he cannot participate in Reverend Clark's suggested campaign, Dr. King encourages the minister to move forward with his plans of establishing a revival campaign to preach "the message of Our Lord at every opportunity."

"Outrage in Alabama"

Sunday, May 5, 1963

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference reprinted the article, "Outrage in Alabama," which was originally printed in The New York Times. The article describes violent acts against civil rights demonstrators discussing the flaws within the legal system.

"Meaning of Georgia Elections"

Saturday, July 3, 1965

Dr. King speaks about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Summer Community Organization and Political Education Project (SCOPE). He also talks about the political advancements that were made in the south.

Report of Director of Mission Development

Rev. Dr. Archie Hargraves was a distinguished urban minister and church leader who served America's cities for more than half a century. In this report he gives a summary of individual organizations under Mission Development, of which he was the Director. All of these organizations aimed to augment employment and economic opportunities for their respective surrounding communities.

Two Noted Rights Workers Added to Staff of SCEF

This article explains Ella J. Baker and John R. Salter were added to the New Orleans based Southern Christian Educational Fund shortly before its headquarters were raided by more than 100 policemen on October 4th.

Telegram from Minsters of Operation Breadbasket to Robert E. Slater

Wednesday, November 22, 1967

The John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company is called to discuss racial discrimination. Ministers from Operation Breadbasket explain that they will commence an investigation to possibly eradicate the unequal employment practices of the company.

MLK Announces End of Montgomery Bus Boycott

Thursday, December 20, 1956

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.

The Negro is the Most Glaring Evidence of White American's Hypocrisy

Dr. King shares the desire and need of American Negroes to have a social revolution for equality.

SCLC Seventh Annual Convention

Tuesday, September 24, 1963

This pamphlet advertises the 1963 Southern Christian Leadership Conference Annual Convention. It contains detailed information about the event, including members of the planning committee and scheduled presenters.

Letter from John Lewis to MLK

Thursday, July 22, 1965

In this letter, John Lewis requests a loan for the amount of $10,000 from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference so that the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee can meet their payroll and cover pressing bills. He then speaks on the importance of continuous dialogue between the SCLC and SNCC.

Letter from John A. McDermott Copied to Al Raby and MLK

Thursday, July 13, 1967

John A. McDermott, Executive Director of the Catholic Interracial Council, writes to Al Raby and Dr. King. Mr. McDermott describes the Council's involvement with the Chicago Freedom Movement. Mr. McDermott also expresses his appreciation for Mr. Raby and Dr. King's support in the fight for fair housing legislation in Chicago. McDermott goes on to describe the Movement struggle with the controversial Atomic Energy Commission project in Weston, Illinois.

News/Letter: Atlanta Workshop in Nonviolence

Wednesday, November 1, 1967

Here is a 1967 newsletter from the Atlanta Workshop in Nonviolence, covering a number of topics including the Vietnam War, the March on Washington, fascism, and non-violent tactical plans.

Workers Defense League Board Meeting Announcement

This is an invitation to the annual national executive board meeting of the Workers Defense League in New York City. The agenda is to discuss civil rights, how to defend the rights of conscientious objectors, workers and welfare recipients, political asylum, and other topics.

Letter from Pierre C. Armand to MLK

Monday, April 1, 1968

Mr. Armand writes Dr. King concerning the goals of The Haitian Community Center in New York City. The Center attempts to institute programming in order to alleviate the various difficulties of the Haitian community. Mr. Armand also invites Dr. King to speak at a distinguished event as an honorary guest.

Statement from the Eisenhower Administration to the NAACP

Sunday, June 26, 1955

In an address to the NAACP, Vice President Richard Nixon discusses the reasons that progress has been made in the Eisenhower Administration and the goals that the organization needs to continue working toward.

Letter from Joan Baez's Law Firm to MLK

Wednesday, January 3, 1968

Singer Joan Baez's law firm expresses her appreciation for Dr. King's recent correspondence.

Letter from George W. Chivers to MLK

Saturday, August 20, 1966

George W. Chivers writes to Dr. King objecting to the Alabama law that disallows women from sitting as jurors. He compares this denial of women's civil rights to the injustices suffered by Negroes in Alabama.

Malcolm X Memorial Flyer

This flyer promotes a salute to American freedom and peace fighters at the Malcolm X memorial event held at Stuyvesant High School. The flyer outlines scheduled topics, speakers, and entertainers.