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"Speeches"

Statement Before the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee

Saturday, August 11, 1956

Dr. King addresses the National Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee on the issues of civil rights, segregation, and voters registration. He urges the party to join the crusade for social justice and equality for all.

Statement on The Negro's Political and Economic Power

Friday, October 14, 1966

Dr. King discusses the inferior political and economic power of the American Negro against the backdrop of emerging Black Power organizations. He reveals several new non-violent programs the SCLC targeted at economic and social justice: youth training and political reformation in the South. It is in accordance with the philosophy of non-violence that Dr. King believes the vast majority of Negroes will birth a "community in which neither power nor dignity will be black or white."

Pilgrimage for Democracy

Sunday, December 15, 1963

Dr. King makes an address at the "Pilgrimage for Democracy" in Atlanta during the winter of 1963. He opens with the Supreme Courts ruling to cease segregation in schools and how Atlanta served as the "epitome of social progress." He continues to elaborate on how the city needs to continue its desegregation efforts to achieve justice. Dr. King numerically highlights the inadequacies of the integrated schools in Atlanta and expresses the reality of the continuing segregation in the city's public accommodations.

We Return to Birmingham Jail to Bear Witness

On his way to turn themselves in to Birmingham jail again in 1967, Dr. King writes this article in longhand, asserting the purposes of the civil rights activists' civil disobedience. Their unjust incarceration, he states, will allow them to bear witness to an unjust justice system, from Bull Connor's dogs to the US Supreme Court. The Court had just issued a decision supporting Connor's injunction forbidding the protests of the Birmingham campaign, which had led to his first incarceration there in 1963.

March on Washington Address by Eugene Carson Blake

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

Rev Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, Vice Chairman of the Commission on Religion and Race of the National Council of Churches, addresses the March on Washington. He states that if all the clergy and church members he represents and all of the Roman Catholics and Jews in America were marching for jobs and freedom for Negroes, the battle for civil rights would be won. Despite the pronouncements of the religious community, the churches and society are still segregated. “Late, late we come,” he says, and in a repentant and reconciling spirit.

The Negro Past and It's Challenge for the Future

In honor of Negro History Week, Dr. King offers this speech on the black community's past and future in America.

Hungry Club Speech

Wednesday, May 10, 1967

Dr. King speaks on "America's Chief Moral Dilemma." He contends that the dilemma in the world is the result of three major evils: racism, poverty, and war. Dr. King encourages the audience to work toward making America a moral example for the rest of the world.

Letter from Michael Bennett to MLK

Saturday, July 18, 1964

In this letter, Mr.Michael Bennett expresses how delighted the NAACP is knowing Dr. King will lecture on Kent State University's campus.

MLK Address to the Tenth Anniversary Convention of the SCLC

Dr. King, at the Tenth Anniversary Convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses numerous civil rights issues the organization is addressing throughout America.

Statement by MLK in San Francisco

Tuesday, May 26, 1964

Dr. King gives an address in San Francisco regarding race relations, equality, and segregation. Dr. King charges people from all communities to unite so that hope can be created for others.

"The American Dream"

Tuesday, June 6, 1961

This transcription of the commencement address delivered by Dr. King at Lincoln University on June 6 1961.

Notes for an Address to Memphis Strikers

Dr. King drafted these notes, which were used in an address given in Memphis, Tennessee in March of 1968. "Dives" is a Biblical character who refused to give aid to the poor and was condemned for it.

Methodist Church Statement on Vietnam Conflict

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.

A Statement by Dr. King

Sunday, July 17, 1966

In a statement made in Chicago, Dr. King asks for the economic and social betterment of the individuals living in the "slums" of the city.

The Crisis in America's Cities

Tuesday, August 15, 1967

Dr. King provides an analysis of "social disorder" and a plan of action against poverty, discrimination and racism in Urban America. Dr. King states that, "If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed."

Moral and Religious Imperatives for Brotherhood

Saturday, February 9, 1963

Dr. King shares how important it is for America to obtain racial integration.

Address for the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights

Thursday, May 17, 1962

This address was delivered by Dr. King at the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights event on May 17, 1962. Dr. King opens by discussing various anniversaries that coincide with the event and represent similar struggles for justice including the Supreme Court school desegregation ruling, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Henry David Thoreau's death.

MLK's Statement in Regards to Adlai Stevenson

Wednesday, July 14, 1965

Dr. King makes a statement following the death of Adlai Stevenson.

Daniel B. Brewster Address before the Senate

Thursday, June 18, 1964

The Honorable Daniel B. Brewster, U. S. Senator from Maryland, addresses the President of the United States and the Second Session of the 88th Congress regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

MLK's Address About South Africa

Friday, December 10, 1965

Addressing the apartheid situation in South Africa, Dr. King states that white rulers of South Africa, rather than black Africans, are "modern day barbarians." He continues to say that although black South Africans are the majority, they are oppressed by the minority. This is one of many occasions that Dr. King parallels racial injustices and views civil rights as an international issue.

The Role of the Church

Dr. King expresses how ineffective the Emancipation Proclamation has truly been on the Civil Rights Movement.

Joint Statement of MLK and SCLC

Friday, April 30, 1965

Dr. King and John Lewis deliver a statement concerning a meeting presided over by Harry Belafonte. The meeting was intended to discover ways that the SCLC and SNCC could cooperate and concluded with an agreement for both organizations to work together but separately towards a voting bill and other goals.

Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy's Statement Following MLK's Assasination

Sunday, April 7, 1968

Rev. Abernathy acknowledges the deep pain and anger those in SCLC feel at the senseless taking of Dr. King’s life. They pledge that his work and commitment to nonviolence will continue. They are as much against violence, says Abernathy, as they are against racial and economic injustice. He announces that Mrs. King will join him in leading a march in Memphis in support of the sanitation workers and that the Poor People’s Campaign will proceed. He calls upon Congress to respond to the major loss represented by Dr.

Statement on SCLC Commitment to Albany, Georgia

Thursday, July 12, 1962

Dr. King announces that he is organizing an operation in Albany, Georgia in which the members of the SCLC will be present and active.

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.

Statement to SCLC Board: Alabama Movement

Friday, April 2, 1965

Dr. King discusses the various issues within the State of Alabama. Dr. King and the SCLC have maintained leadership in the Alabama Movement and have proposed a plan to continue the acts of nonviolence.

MLK's Public Statement Regarding Court Hearings

Friday, December 3, 1965

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

MLK Remarks at the NAACP's Civil Rights Rally

Sunday, July 10, 1960

Dr. King addresses the NAACP in regards to the equality of the school systems for Negro students. He urges the crowd to "employ only the highest weapons of dignity and discipline" while continuing to fight against segregation.

MLK Address at Park Sheraton Hotel

Wednesday, September 12, 1962

Dr. King gives an address commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation. In the celebratory speech, he calls all Americans to take action in applying the principles of the Emancipation Proclamation to society. Dr. King states that the commands of the Proclamation have fallen short in practice and that it will take a cumulative effort from every citizen to undo this process.

Tenth Annual Convention

Thursday, August 11, 1966

Dr. King addresses the achievements the SCLC has accomplished over the past ten years at the Tenth Annual Convention in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. King then speaks on the fact that all of the SCLC's achievements are accomplished through nonviolence.