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"Speeches"

MLK Statement Regarding Housing Proposal in Chicago

Tuesday, December 20, 1966

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.

Martin Luther King Does It Again

Sunday, April 23, 1967

Ralph C. Bailey, a marcher in the New York City demonstration against the War in Vietnam, describes the demonstration as an "impressive spectacle" of people of all ages and races. He praises Dr. King for combining revolution with nonviolence in hopes of a peaceful demonstration.

Proposed Nobel Speech

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.

Introduction of Senator Edward M. Kennedy by MLK

Monday, August 8, 1966

Dr. King introduces the SCLC's guest speaker, Senator Edward Kennedy at a conference in Jackson, Mississippi.

Statement Upon Return to Montgomery

Dr. King reflects on his near death experience after Izola Ware Curry stabbed him with a letter opener at a book signing in New York City on September 20, 1958. Although Dr. King refers to Curry as a "deranged woman," he has "no bitterness towards her" and sees her actions only as a "reflection on the moral climate." Dr. King further states what he will remember most is the "vast outpouring of sympathy" that was received from all races and creeds.

MLK Statement Regarding the Non-Partisan Position of the SCLC

Tuesday, November 1, 1960

While keeping the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's position as a non-partisan organization, Dr. King expresses his gratitude to Senator Kennedy's concern for his arrest.

Address on Anti-Poverty by Jerome P. Cavanagh

Monday, August 22, 1966

Jerome P. Cavanagh, Mayor of Detroit, delivers this speech before the Office of Economic Opportunity Urban Areas Conference, Great Lakes Region. The conference is dedicated to sharing experiences in the War on Poverty and taking a realistic assessment on the issues in urban areas. Inadequate education, food, housing, and disjointed welfare systems are major problems of concern. Cavanagh encourages the analysis of programs addressing these situations. He also advocates an understanding of federal aid cutbacks and connects insufficient funds to the Vietnam War and space exploration.

Thoughts on Nobel Prize

Dr. King uses a statement by Mahalia Jackson and the philanthropy of Sir Alfred Nobel to encapsulate the purpose of the Civil Rights Movement. Jackson refers to the racial problems in America as "family business," but Dr. King believes that in order for man to become a brotherhood, society has to search for truth like Alfred Nobel.

Statement by Reverend Jesse Jackson

Wednesday, August 16, 1967

Reverend Jesse Jackson gives a report regarding SCLC's Operation Breadbasket. Reverend Jackson states, "There are no riotous fires set aflame in this country that can be put out with water from a rubber hose; the flames must be extinguished by money from an economic hose."

House Un-American Activities Committee

Friday, May 15, 1964

This article summarizes the consequences that derive from the House Un-American Activities Committee labeling Civil Rights leaders as communists.

A Realistic Look at Race Relations

Thursday, May 17, 1956

Dr. King gives the three views one can take regarding the state of race relations: optimism, pessimism, and realistic. Dr. King argues for a realistic stance because America has accomplished much in race relations, but still has a long way to go. He further explains that he thinks segregation is in its last days.

MLK Speaks on Vietnam War

This 32-page booklet was published by Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam shortly after Dr. King’s April 4, 1967 Riverside Church address on the Vietnam War. It features a foreword by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, Dr. King’s speech, and remarks by Henry Steele Commager, Dr. John C. Bennett, and Rabbi Abraham Heschel. In addition, it includes a New York Times interview with Dr. King, King’s response to NAACP criticism on his opposition to the war, and letters to the editor of the New York Times.

MLK Speech: Acceptance of Spingarn Medal

Friday, June 28, 1957

Dr. King addresses the attendees at the NAACP 48th Annual Convention in Detroit, Michigan. He acknowledges the noble men and women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott Movement, for which his leadership earned him this award. Dr. King also discusses the ongoing struggle for civil rights and the nonviolent approach needed for the American Negro to win freedom and justice.

MLK Address at the AFL-CIO Fourth Constitutional Convention

Monday, December 11, 1961

Dr. King delivers a speech at the Fourth Constitutional Convention of the AFL-CIO to address the lack of equality and rights for laborers and people of color. Dr. King encourages those at the convention to remain steadfast in the fight for social justice in order to overcome the mountain of oppression.

Speech from MLK about Jews Living in the Soviet Union

In this document, Dr. King protests the Soviet Union's treatment of the Jews there. He stresses the need for the Soviet Union to treat its Jewish community fairly. He says: "[w]e cannot sit complacently by the wayside while while our Jewish brothers in the Soviet Union face the possible extinction of their cultural and spiritual life."

Eulogy for Robert W. Spike

Dr. King highlights the life and work of American clergyman, theologian, and civil rights leader, Robert W. Spike. Spike was a leader known for mobilizing church participation for the Civil Rights Movement. Less than one year after accepting a professorship at the University of Chicago, he was murdered.

Calvin Kytle to Head Information Center for Urban America

This press release revelas that Calvin Kytle will head a new national information center for Urban American, Inc.

1967 Geneva Convocation

Monday, May 29, 1967

Dr. King provides introductory remarks to participants of the Pacem In Terris II Convocation held in Geneva, Switzerland. He addresses several moral and political concerns as it relates war and Vietnam.

"Dr. King Denounces Write-In Plot"

Monday, November 2, 1964

Contrary to what radio announcements and newspapers advertise, Dr. King urges Negro voters to vote for a presidential candidate that is already on the ballot. He expresses that he is not a candidate and does not want voters to write his name on the ballot.

Annual Address by MLK for the Montgomery Improvement Association

Thursday, December 3, 1959

This document outlines Dr. King's address for the Fourth Anniversary of the Montgomery Improvement Association, held at Bethel Baptist Church in Montgomery. In the address, Dr. King speaks about the history, achievements and current task of the Association.

Jenner School Parents

Wednesday, April 20, 1966

Presented here is a rough draft of an address delivered by Dr. King to the parents of Jenner Elementary school located in Chicago, Ill. Dr. King advises a plan to counteract deplorable school conditions as well as the misappropriation of tax dollars.

Statement by the President of the Montgomery Improvement Association

Thursday, December 20, 1956

As the President of Montgomery Improvement Association, Dr. King elaborates on the past twelve months and the city's efforts to fight against racial injustice through the bus boycott. Their journey concluded victoriously with the acknowledgment of the Supreme Court that invalidated segregated transportation. Dr. King informs the Montgomery community that they are to "return to the buses" on a "non-segregated basis."

Statement by MLK

Friday, December 11, 1964

This document contains Dr. King's remarks on injustices in the state of Mississippi. He suggests a complete boycott if the federal or state government is unable to perform the proper means of justice.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

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."

MLK Announces End of Birmingham Campaign

Friday, May 10, 1963

The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights released these remarks by Dr. King marking the end of the Birmingham Nonviolent Direct Action Campaign. King describes the day as a climax in the long struggle for justice and freedom in Birmingham and gives credit to Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, to the thousands who went to jail, to the whites who worked for just solutions and to God. He speaks of the need for continued progress toward equal job opportunities, equal access to public facilities, and equal rights and responsibilities.

New York Mayor Wagner Remarks at Reception

Thursday, December 17, 1964

New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner honors Dr. King at a reception following a ceremony where he was presented the Medallion of Honor of the City of New York after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The Mayor especially commends Dr. King for his courageous leadership in nonviolence and the spirit of love, goodwill, and peacemaking that he brings to the struggle for racial justice.

Excerpt from MLK's Speech to the National Press Club

Thursday, July 19, 1962

Dr. King discusses nonviolent resistance and freedom. He further challenges various communities by coining the slogan, "hate is always tragic."

Statement Before the Credentials Committee by MLK

Saturday, August 22, 1964

In this statement before the Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Committee, Dr. King urges that the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party be seated and recognized at the convention. Dr. King declares that the Democratic Party in Mississippi itself is unjust and vows to keep black Mississippians off of the voting rolls. Dr.King uses the analogy of how can we as Americans preach "freedom and democracy" in Africa and Asia, yet refuse to provide its own citizens with such rights.

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

Tuesday, August 9, 1966

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.

The World's March Toward Human Rights

Thursday, May 28, 1964

Dr. King addresses the issue of Equal Justice Under the Law at a convocation of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.