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In 1964, Dr. King became the first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At age 35, he was also the youngest recipient of the award to date. Emphasizing a philosophy of nonviolence, Dr. King writes this acceptance speech commemorating the courageous work of the Civil Rights Movement. He highlights the brutality faced throughout the United States and addresses the irony of accepting a peace prize on behalf of a movement that has yet to obtain peace.
This is a draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Handwritten notes are written in the margins to indicate future amendments. Dr. King states that he experiences this moment of acceptance for himself and "those magnificent devotees of nonviolence who have moved so courageously against the ramparts of racial injustice."
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."
After returning from a Real Estate Brokers convention in San Francisco, Dr. King addresses the body of the National Association of Radio Announcers during their annual convention. The Reverend expresses appreciation for the influence radio has had in an unrepresented community of uneducated listeners who may otherwise be denied information and economic opportunity.
In this draft of a statement, Dr. King discusses the misnomer of 'right-to-work,' stating that the law is against Civil Rights as it is anti-union.
Dr. King makes this statement regarding the arrest of himself and other leaders of the 1963 Birmingham struggle. The Supreme Court in 1967 ruled that these leaders unjustly broke the city wide injunction banning demonstrations. Dr. King urges the nation, "Take heed. Do not allow the Bill of Rights to become a prisoner of war."
Dr. King gave this address at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee the night before he was assassinated. He called for nonviolent protest and a boycott of Memphis area businesses in support of the Memphis Sanitation Workers strike. Conveying a sense of foreboding, he not only recounted a near-death experience when he was stabbed near the heart, but also spoke of the possibility of his own demise at the hands of those who opposed him.
Dr. King expresses his appreciation for the staff at Harlem Hospital and those who supported him during his stay at this location. He asserts that the telegrams, letters, calls and other means of contact have been accepted as a token of respect.
Dr. King, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young Jr., and Roy Wilkins issue a joint statement urging Negro Americans in cities such as Newark and Detroit to end the public disorder and rioting. The civil rights leaders emphasize the potential damage the urban riots pose to "the Negro population, to the civil rights cause, and to the entire nation."
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."
This document contains speeches given at the SCLC's Tenth Anniversary Convention Banquet. Sidney Poitier, a Bahamian American actor, gives the keynote address. He makes a very compelling statement during his address asserting, "to change the world we must change men." Also featured are brief speeches by Dr. King, Andrew Young, and Dorothy Cotton.
In this statement made from the Albany, Georgia city jail where he was imprisoned, Dr. King expresses appreciation for President Kennedy's support of negotiation between Albany's City Commission and civil rights leaders.
Dr. King addresses violations of First Amendment Rights in this statement regarding the events at Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.
On March 14, 1964, Dr. King was presented with the John Dewey Award by the United Teachers Federation. The address he delivered that day is outlined in this type-written draft along with his handwritten notes. In the draft, Dr. King emphasizes the importance of education, especially as a tool for African American advancement. He cites how the deprivation of education has been used as a way to systematically oppress African Americans and he asserts that this inequality is a reality that must be confronted. Dr.
This is a draft for an optional version of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. He notes the importance of viewing the world as a family and with such perception, understands race issues as an international concern. King also speaks of Sir Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the originator of the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepts the award on behalf of those who came before him and those who continue to fight for freedom.
Dr. King addresses the United Neighborhood Houses of New York at the Biltmore Hotel. He focuses on the need to alter the ineffective, piecemeal manner in which the government tries to fight poverty by fighting its symptoms, and instead suggest that the government channel those funds into a new "guaranteed annual income" that will help turn non-producers into consumers. This rough draft of the speech contains Dr. King's handwritten revisions and additions.
This is a draft of remarks made by Dr. King to the World March Toward Human Rights Luncheon of the NAACP's Legal Education Defense Fund. The event took place at the Americana Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. King states that human rights involve two elements: recognition and opportunity. Dr. King proposes that the United States launch a Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.
Dr. King gives a statement to the Second Precinct Clergymen's Association in Washington, D. C. regarding voter registration and the Civil Rights Movement. King asserts, "I understand that voter registration here has reached a mark just short of 170,000."
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.
King delivered this speech, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1961, at a rally to support the Freedom Riders. King encourages them to maintain postures and attitudes of non-violence in the face of violent responses to their actions and resistance. He assures them that while they will experience a "season of suffering," the moral rightness of their cause will prevail.
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.
As President of the SCLC, Dr. King delivers his Annual Report to the Eighth Annual Convention in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to listing SCLC's many accomplishments over the past year, Dr. King urges his audience to stay resolute as their great progress creates a growing racial backlash from those opposed to the Civil Rights Movement.
James Farmer issues a message from the Donaldsonville Jail regarding the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He regrets that he is unable to attend the event, but he supports the goals of the March.
Dr. King calls for a day of penance that will serve as a tactic of the self-purification step of the nonviolence method. Dr. King urges for the City Commission to talk with leaders of the Albany Movement.
Dr. King states that the key to an extended and fulfilling life is to live a life that is "three dimensional." He further identifies these dimensions as: "length, breadth and height." Dr. King proclaims these dimensions will ensure a life of self-love, community and love for God.