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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.
Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, applauds Darien's efforts to integrate minority and suburban communities through its exchange program with New York City. The program "sought Negro teachers, business and professional people to live and work in their community."
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.
This pamphlet announces a World Constitutional Convention to be held in Switzerland. Dr. King, who was among the signers of a "Call for a Constitutional Convention," is quoted in the leaflet stating that a world government would lessen tensions.
In this letter A. Philip Randolph asks Dr. King for contributions needed to carry out the work of the National Advisory Committee On Farm Labor (NACFL). Randolph states, "NACFL stretches its limited funds far, but now at this critical point we must ask for your support".
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.
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.
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."
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.
Mr. Gibson writes to Dr. King concerning his political position on the Vietnam War. He believes that the war is a just war because the end is to help the South Vietnamese halt the spread of communism.
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.
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.
Pastor Bill Lawson writes Dr. King seeking his help with spreading the Civil Rights Movement in Houston. He asks King to establish a permanent SCLC office in Houston and engage in nonviolent demonstrations.
The Board of Christian Social Concerns of the Methodist Church releases a statement regarding the conflict in Vietnam and possible outcomes and solutions. The board urges steps leading to a withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam.
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.
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.
Dr. Harding gives a full detailed presentation on Black Power before the Southeastern Regional Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.
In this telegram, Mr. Lieberman writes to Dr. King requesting his support for an upcoming unionization vote by Denver public school teachers.
Addressing Chicago slums, the focal point of Dr. King's Chicago crusade, the writer of the article calls for all tenants, regardless of race, creed or color, to assume some responsibility for the upkeep of their buildings instead of expecting Dr. King and the landlords of the buildings to solve the issue for them.
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.