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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Dr. Abernathy Says Full Steam Ahead in '67

Friday, January 6, 1967

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

Address by MLK to American Jewish Committee

Thursday, May 20, 1965

In this speech, Dr. King addresses the Civil Rights Movement and the use of nonviolent demonstration tactics. He distinguishes between civil disobedience, which involves breaking laws that one does not agree with, and nonviolent demonstration, which involves using one's right to protest. He states that nonviolent protest is inherently American, citing examples from the Civil War, the Suffragettes, and the American Jewish Committee's own lobbying from the early 20th Century.

Selma Friendship Day Report

This document highlights information surrounding "Selma Friendship Day," which was a white-led counter-protest intended to offset the effects of Kingian boycotts. This counter-protest was met with a demonstration, in which 120 pro-Kingian persons were arrested and the local SCLC office was barricaded.

Letter from SNCC's Judy Richardson to Coretta Scott King

Sunday, September 5, 1965

Judy Richardson of SNCC writes to Mrs. King to give her a copy of the new Negro history primer, "Negroes in American History." The book serves as a method of teaching children about African American history while tying in elements of the Civil Rights Movement.

Memorandum from Theodore Brown to MLK and Others

Wednesday, May 17, 1967

Theodore Brown informs Dr. King and other civil rights leaders of a previous letter to President Johnson regarding United States-Africa relations.

Chicago Daily News: Operation Breadbasket

Monday, August 8, 1966

The Chicago Daily News posts an article highlighting Operation Breadbaskets success in opening up two hundred and twenty four jobs in Chicago's dairy industry for Negroes.

Letter from Prince Johannes of Bohemia to MLK

Sunday, December 17, 1967

Prince Johannes, claimant to the throne of Bohemia, requests Dr. King's participation in the Presidium of the World Government.

Letter from Richard W. Boone to MLK

Tuesday, January 11, 1966

A letter from Richard Boone, Executive Director of Citizens Crusade Against Poverty, to Dr. King, enclosing the preliminary draft of the C.C.A.P.'s training proposal to the Ford Foundation.

Italian Weekly Requests MLK Views on Gandhi

Tuesday, January 3, 1967

The Italian weekly magazine, Mondo Domani, plans to publish a lengthy article on Gandhi. The editors wish to include Dr. King's response to several questions on nonviolence, outlined in this letter from their United States Representative Enzo Viscusi.

Letter from James Bevel on the Spring Mobilization Committee

James Bevel, national director of the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, offers insight into the purpose of the committee. The committee focuses on launching two mass demonstrations to stop the war, with the goal of "seeking to stimulate increased activity everywhere."

Urban League Feeling a Financial Squeeze

Wednesday, September 15, 1965

This article focuses on the Chicago Urban League's struggle to gain financial support from contributors. According to the organization's director Edwin C. Berry, former contributors failed to accept the fact that the goals and scope of the league would preclude the organization from becoming a "protest group."

Support Negro Business

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

Letter from Andrew Heiskell to MLK

Tuesday, July 25, 1967

Mr. Heiskell extends an invitation for Dr. King to join Mayors of major cities and other national leaders in forming a coalition to address urban problems.

It is Not Enough to Condemn Black Power...

Saturday, October 1, 1966

Dr. King addresses the "Black Power" movement in this two-page document. He also explains his thoughts and experiences relating to the tactics and goals of the Civil Rights Movement.

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.

Letter from New York City Mayor to MLK

Tuesday, March 28, 1967

The Mayor of New York, John V. Lindsay, invites Dr. King to a conference entitled "Puerto Ricans Confront the Problems of the Complex Urban Society: A Design for Change." Panel meetings will expound on twelve subjects ranging from "Education" to the "Administration of Justice."

Address to AFL-CIO New York City District 65

Dr. King speaks to the District 65 AFL-CIO to address the importance of job opportunities in the northern and southern regions of the United States. He explains that the labor movement must stay active in order to gain civil rights and equal pay for African American workers.

SCLC Tenth Anniversary Convention

Monday, August 14, 1967

A program outlining the course of events for the 10th Anniversary Convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

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.

Letter from Jill Chisholm to MLK

Sunday, January 22, 1967

Ms. Chisholm, from South Africa, informs Dr. King of her temporary stay in the United States to research the non-violent movement and work of SCLC. She request to meet with Dr. King to discuss his work in Atlanta, GA and Chicago, IL.

An Appeal by Puerto Ricans for Fair Treatment

This document reviews the economic, political, and cultural disparity of Puerto Ricans. The authors explain the history of American imperialism in Puerto Rico and how Puerto Ricans have been mistreated in the United States, particularly in New York. Criticizing the Vietnam War, the authors suggest focusing the funding used abroad on community building.

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.

Program from The Poor People's Campaign Committee for Nassau County

Dr. King delivers an address for the Poor People's Campaign Committee of Nassau County.

Letter from Joan Daves to MLK

Tuesday, September 8, 1964

This letter from Ms. Daves to Dr. King features requests regarding his itinerary for his trip to England.

SCLC Annual Report by MLK, 1965

Wednesday, August 11, 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.

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.

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.

Letter from Bishop P. Randolph Shy to MLK

Friday, August 11, 1967

Presiding Bishop of The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, P. Randolph Shy, declines Dr. King's invitation to attend an upcoming convention. Bishop Shy mentions that he will make a contribution "through our churches to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference."

Revolution in the Delta: Farm Hands Go on Strike

David R. Underhill discusses the strike of farm laborers in various Mississippi Delta cities. Underhill highlights strike procedures, methods, and locations.

Progressive National Baptist Convention Sixth Annual Session

Monday, July 31, 1967

This news release outlines the events and participants for the Sixth Annual Session of the Progressive National Baptist Convention to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio. The theme of the conference is Spiritual Renewal in a Decaying Society.