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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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.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

People in Action: Sit In, Stand In, Wade In, Kneel In

In this article in the New York Amsterdam News May 25, 1963, Dr. King says that, through the ballot, Negro voters can change the political structure of the South. He states that for democracy to live, segregation must die; therefore, every form of nonviolent direct action will be used to dismantle it in the South, where it is visible, and in the North, where it is more hidden. Finally, he points out that modern psychologists use the term “maladjusted.” He is glad to be “maladjusted” to segregation, religious bigotry, economic injustice, and militarism.

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.

Letter from Rabbi Gerald A. Goldman to MLK

Friday, March 1, 1968

Rabbi Gerald A. Goldman invites Dr. King to be a guest at the West Side Peace Committee Conference.

MLK's Address to American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa

Saturday, November 24, 1962

Drawing connections between the social injustices of two continents, Dr. King discusses the relationship between segregation in America and colonialism in Africa. Dr. King also shares his opinion about America dominating Africa politically and economically.

CIC Press Release: Hilliard to Head Catholic Testimonial for MLK

Wednesday, September 23, 1964

The Catholic Interracial Council releases a statement announcing Raymond M. Hilliard as the Chairman of the 1964 John F. Kennedy Award Dinner. During the event, Dr. King will be honored for his leadership and dedication to the civil rights struggle. Hilliard, whom President Johnson named to the National Citizens Committee for Community Relations to advise on the implementation of civil rights legislation, called Dr. King's work "inspired and truly Christian" and said that the CIC was honored to celebrate him.

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.

Letter from James Farmer to MLK

Wednesday, August 16, 1967

Chairman J. Farmer gives Dr. King a report from the National Advisory Committee of CORE.

Pamphlet About the Black Panther Party

Wednesday, June 1, 1966

This pamphlet contains historical and contextual references to the Black Panther Party. It also includes a speech by John Hulett and an interview of Stokely Carmichael highlighting the political and social movements occurring in Lowndes County, Alabama.

Letter From Maria Diego to Dr. King

Thursday, November 18, 1965

Maria Diego requests assistance from Dr. King to aid in funding a new Catholic school building in Japan.

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.

Letter from International Institute for Peace to MLK

Sunday, June 12, 1966

O. P. Paliwal and Yves Choliere, from the World Council of Peace, invite Dr. King to speak at a session in Geneva about the well being of Vietnam.

Letter from Beresford Hayward to MLK

Wednesday, February 7, 1962

Beresford Hayward, Planning Consultant of the Department of Education in Puerto Rico, writes Dr. King to inform him of the racial climate in Puerto Rico and its issue of Cuban immigration. Mr. Hayward also presents a comparison between the race issues inflicting Puerto Rico and the United States of America.

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.

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.

Letter from MLK to Adolph Held

Friday, September 29, 1967

Dr. King writes Adolph Held, President of the Jewish Labor Committee, in response to his inquiry regarding SCLC's position on anti-semitism. Dr. King clarifies a number of distortions produced by the media, and presents the facts of the Chicago Conference of New Politics event throughout the letter.

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.

Transcript: Press Conference USA

Friday, July 5, 1963

Robert Lodge questions Dr. King about the future and past of the Civil Rights Movement during a Press Conference USA recording.

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.

MLK Thanks a Contributing Author

Dr. King writes to Mr. Morrow thanking him for sending a written manuscript of Marrow's new book. He apologizes for being unable to fully assist him in his writing endeavors.

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.

Telegram from Unius Griffin to MLK

Unius Griffin writes to Dr. King regarding four Negro political candidates seeking elective offices in Wilcox County, Alabama. Griffin includes information on the increasing numbers of registered Negro voters and speaks to the various intents of each Negro candidate.

Letter from Leonard E. Smith to MLK

Friday, October 6, 1967

Leonard Smith writes to Dr. King concerning a new venture of the National Sharecroppers Fund, which seeks to invest Negro business captial in Southeastern farming areas to benefit the rural poor.

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.

SCLC Report: Operation Breadbasket

Rev. Fred C. Bennette, Jr. writes a report on Operation Breadbasket. Rev. Bennette "hopes to increase its activity in alleviating the economic plight of the Negro in America." At the culmination of the report, he lists the main cities where the project will be implemented.

Letter from Richard A. Russell to MLK about Integrated Housing

Tuesday, November 22, 1966

In this letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Russell inquires about the Federal Housing Administration's decision on the requirements of housing integration.