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"Speeches"

The Task of Christian Leadership Training for Education in the Local Community

Atlantic City, NJ, Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), New Jersey (NJ)

This undated manuscript was used as the basis for a speech Dr. King gave at the National Sunday School and Baptist Training Union Congress in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1944. Dr. King defines community, lists three current problems within the community and explains the role of Christian leaders and education in a community. Dr. King identifies the most pressing problems as the economy, divisions within Christianity and race relations.

MLK Statement on Libel Suit

Wednesday, July 14, 1965

Dr. King makes a public statement regarding a libel suit. He explains that he has been served papers but is not at liberty to comment.

Transcript of Press Conference on Hotel Restaurant Desegregation

Atlanta, GA

Dr. King states in this 1962 press conference that he sees integration of Atlanta hotels and restaurants as imminent. With the exception of Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina, civil rights are progressing throughout the South. The many groups working on the issue are working toward a common goal and using a variety of strategies, including direct action, litigation, legislation, and education.

The Modern Negro Activist

Montgomery, AL, GHANA, NIGERIA, KENYA, CONGO / ZAIRE, Alabama (AL), California (CA), Cambridge, MA, Massachusetts (MA)

Dr. King profiles the emergent young Negro civil rights activist who is college-educated, creative, brave and committed to the discipline of non-violence. He attributes the activist's diligence to a keen awareness that they inhabit a world on the cusp of positive social change and that they will have the privilege to direct that change. They are no longer to be an imitator of his white counterpart, but rather an initiator and leader in this new age.

Speech to the Synagogue Council of America

Sunday, December 5, 1965
New York (NY), CHINA

Dr. King receives the Judaism and World Peace Award from the Synagogue Council of America and uses the occasion to speak about the Civil Rights Movement and international peace. He laments the vehement criticism of dissent and discussion of the Vietnam War and enumerates reasons why the Hebrew prophets are so needed today.

A Challenge to the Churches and Synagogues

Thursday, January 17, 1963
Chicago, IL, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, New York, NY, New York (NY)

In this document, Dr. King addressed the Conference on Religion and Race in Chicago, Illinois. He reprimands the Church and Synagogue for being silent or being a "silent partner of the status quo." Dr. King tells them that they must recapture its focus on human rights or risk becoming irrelevant. In closing, Dr. King challenges himself along with these religious institutions to make a choice; either continue to follow the "status quo" or "give ourselves unreservedly to God and his kingdom."

The Real Poverty

Sunday, December 4, 1966
Alabama (AL)

SCLC Director of Public Relations Junius Griffin announces the opening of the Anti-Poverty Coordinating Committee of the Wilcox County, Alabama branch of the SCLC. Throughout the speech, he asserts that true poverty is a "man without compassion," and that any person who does not know how to help others is worse off than "our ancestors who were slaves."

MLK's Statement Regarding Civil Rights Activists' Murders

Friday, December 11, 1964
Mississippi (MS)

This statement by Dr. King was written regarding the lynching and murders of three civil rights activists: James Cheyney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. When Mississippi officials refused to pursue the prosecution of those involved, national outrage prompted the ensuing major federal intervention.

Institute on Nonviolent Resistance to Segregation

Tuesday, August 11, 1959

The SCLC publishes this manifesto declaring that all eyes are focused on the South as it confronts the controversial issues of freedom and equality for Negroes. In the quest for equality, the southern Negros' plan of defense is Christian love and non-violent resistance. The document not only reveals tragic conditions in the South, but also affirms five principles by which equality can be achieved for Negro citizens.

MLK's Gadsden, Alabama Rally Speech

Friday, June 21, 1963
Alabama (AL)

This transcript of Dr. King's address during the Gadsden, Alabama Rally addresses the ills of segregation in the South. He professes that the accusation of civil rights demonstrations being responsible for creating tension is equivalent to blaming the act of robbery on the wealth of man.

Address By Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the SCLC

Monday, August 8, 1966
Jackson, MS, Boston, MA, Montgomery, AL, Chicago, IL, Cleveland, OH, Birmingham, AL, Mississippi (MS), Massachusetts (MA)

Senator Edward M. Kennedy highlights Dr. King's efforts during the Civil Rights Movement. He also expresses concerns about poverty, unemployment, nonviolence, segregation and integrity.

MLK's Public Statement Regarding Court Hearings

Friday, December 3, 1965
Alabama (AL)

Dr. King compares past discrimination to recent strides that have been made in the American justice system.

Senator Edward Kennedy's Address to SCLC

Monday, August 8, 1966
Mississippi (MS), Massachusetts (MA), Montgomery, AL, New York (NY), Cleveland, OH, Chicago, IL

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) addresses the 1966 SCLC Annual Convention, stating that the sit-ins, freedom rides and Montgomery bus boycott created a movement that brought about the most important change of the last 20 years. He says that while the caste system in politics is over, the life of the average Negro hasn’t changed much. Society is becoming divided rich and poor, black and white, and a massive commitment of national resources must be made to upgrade Negro life in America.

Press Statement by MLK About President Johnson's Address on Selma

Tuesday, March 16, 1965
Selma, AL, Alabama (AL)

Dr. King lauds President Johnson's speech to a joint session of Congress, which he describes as an eloquent, unequivocal and passionate plea for human rights. This statement and the President's address occurred during the height of the Selma voting rights campaign.

Manifesto of the Meredith Mississippi March

Mississippi (MS)

Dr. King, Stokely Carmichael, and Floyd McKissick sign the Manifesto of the Meredith Mississippi March, which represents a "public indictment and protest of the failure of American society." In solidarity, they demand courses of actions to deal with voting fraud, strengthened civil rights legislation, and impartial application of the law.

Importance of the Public Accommodations Section of the Civil Rights Bill

Atlanta, GA

This document features a story of a white civil rights worker who was fined and sentence to jail because she sought to eat with her Negro friends in a restaurant in Atlanta.

The Chicago Freedom Movement: MLK Address

Friday, December 2, 1966
Chicago, IL, Alabama (AL), Georgia (GA), Mississippi (MS)

In this statement, Dr. King speaks on behalf of the Chicago Freedom Movement. Dr. King provides details concerning the overall mission, leadership and the predicated involvement of community organizations and participants.

The Domestic Impact of the War in America

Saturday, November 11, 1967
VIETNAM, CHINA, Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, CA

In his address to the National Labor Leadership Assembly for Peace, Dr. King parallels the war in Vietnam to the injustice and violence inflicted on urban dwelling American Negroes "goaded and infuriated by discrimination and neglect." King implores Congress and the Johnson Administration to reassess the nation's domestic priorities and institute anti-poverty programs, so that the Great Society does not deteriorate into a "troubled and confused society."

Statements on Jobs and Poverty

Friday, November 6, 1964
New York (NY), New York, NY, Mississippi (MS), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Pennsylvania (PA)

Dr. King explains the relationship between violence and the lack of employment among young people. Dr. King also speaks of the Thanksgiving Fast for Freedom and its efforts to end poverty and hunger.

MLK Statement Regarding Housing Proposal in Chicago

Tuesday, December 20, 1966
Chicago, IL, Illinois (IL)

Robert Clifton Weaver, the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, encloses a statement made by Dr. King for Joseph Califano, assistant to President Johnson. Dr. King announces a slum area housing redevelopment project in the Chicago areas of Lawndale, East Garfield Park and Kenwood Oakland.

Gunnar Jahn's 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Speech on MLK

Oslo, Norway, Montgomery, AL

Gunnar Jahn shares background information about Dr. King prior to presenting him the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. In his speech, Jahn informs the audience about the bus boycotts and the campaign for equality that Dr. King led. He also discusses Dr. and Mrs. King's choice to leave the easier life in the North to fight a racial battle in the South. Lastly he discusses Dr. King's dedication to his church and his faith in God.

MLK Announces a New SCLC March in Washington, DC

Monday, December 4, 1967
Washington, D.C., Atlanta, GA, Mississippi (MS), Selma, AL, Birmingham, AL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Dr. King announces the SCLC's decision to lead a non-violent march on Washington protesting the government's lack of support in providing jobs and income for impoverished Americans.

Reverend Walter E. Fauntroy's Keynote Address to the SCLC

Tuesday, August 9, 1966
Jackson, MS

Reverend Walter E. Fauntroy's keynote address to the SCLC informs his listeners of the trials and the triumphs of African-Americans in the US. Fauntroy focuses primarily on the subject nonviolence and provides his listeners with a summary of the progress that blacks have made since the start of the Civil Rights Movement.

Statement From MLK In Response To Article Alleging Communist Ties

Thursday, July 25, 1963
Atlanta, GA, New York (NY)

This press release issued by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference features a Statement by Dr. King responding to allegations that he and the SCLC has communist ties. Dr. King argues that the SCLC is grounded in the Christian non-violent movement with the intent of reform, wherease communism leads to violent revolution.

Draft of a Speech Regarding the Chicago Freedom Movement

Georgia (GA), Mississippi (MS), Washington, D.C., Alabama (AL), California (CA), Los Angeles, CA, Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL, New York (NY)

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.

MLK Announces End of Montgomery Bus Boycott

Thursday, December 20, 1956
Montgomery, AL

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.

Statement by Roy Wilkins to Congress

Thursday, January 12, 1967

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights adopted this statement by Roy Wilkins, Chairman, for the opening of the 1967 Congressional session. Their agenda includes full compliance with all existing civil rights legislation, equality and justice in the courts, greater protection for those who exercise their civil rights, and an end to housing discrimination. Wilkins states that economic and social conditions must be created so that civil rights guaranteed by law can be realized.

Founders Day Address

Atlanta, GA, EGYPT, INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA, Johannesburg, South Africa, Berlin, Germany, New York, NY, Montgomery, AL, Little Rock, AR

Dr. King addresses Spelman College at their Founders Day celebration. He discusses issues such as the Promised Land and the function of education.

Draft of Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

This document is one draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Dr. King applauds the world for recognizing the American Civil Rights Movement and states that this award represents for him a "deepening commitment" to the philosophy of nonviolence.

MLK's Address at the University of the West Indies

Sunday, June 20, 1965
JAMAICA

Dr. King spoke at the Valedictory Service of the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica in 1965. On his topic "Facing the Challenge of a New Age," Dr. King addresses the international movement towards peace and equality, stating that "the wind of change is blowing all over the world."