Civil Rights Leadership - Martin Luther King & others

Websites devoted to Martin Luther King and other leaders of the movement.

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M. L. King, Address at the Prayer Pilgrimage,, Washington, D.C.17/5/57
M. L. King, Address at the Prayer Pilgrimage,, Washington, D.C.17/5/57
The first event staged by the SCLC took place at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington and featured a speech by Martin Luther King. But this wasn't the March on Washington of 1963, rather a event, supported by c. 30,000 people aimed at shaming the White House into enforcing the Brown decision and guaranteeing voting rights. This page contains the text & audio of King's address.
Roy Wilkins addresses school desegregation (7/9/1958)
Roy Wilkins addresses school desegregation (7/9/1958)
A short clip from CBS' 'Face the Nation' in which the head of the NAACP responds to the assertion that integration is happening 'too fast'. First shown, Sept 7th.1958.
King Institute: Martin Luther King Major Events Chronology
King Institute: Martin Luther King Major Events Chronology
A useful guide to what happened when. Within each entry, there are links to explanatory text and documents.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Man of Peace In a Time of War (2007)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Man of Peace In a Time of War (2007)
Hour-long documentary including an interview with King exploring his opposition to the Vietnam War.
Face to Face: Martin Luther King (1961)
Face to Face: Martin Luther King (1961)
Part of the classic interview series in which the interviewer, John Freeman, was never seen by the cameras as he asked probing questions. King spends 30 minutes discussing his background, views on race and the state of the movement. Fascinating.
The King Center
The King Center
This site contains a vast amount of Martin Luther King's personal archive digitised and scanned. If you want to know about any aspect of King's life, this is a very useful site. Use the 'spotlight' list to pick an area and then click on the documents that will appear in an online scrapbook.
ML King, "Letter From Birmingham City Jail" (April 16th, 1963)
ML King, "Letter From Birmingham City Jail" (April 16th, 1963)
Written in response to local white clergymen unhappy at the consequences of the Birmingham campaign, King set out the purpose and methods of the Movement. A key text wanting to understand both King's objectives and his tactics.
Martin Luther King Jr. on NBC's Meet the Press (1965)
Martin Luther King Jr. on NBC's Meet the Press (1965)
A 30-minute Q & A session in which King addresses a number of recent events - notably the crisis in Selma, Alabama.
Martin Luther King, "Beyond Vietnam" (4th April 1967)
Martin Luther King, "Beyond Vietnam" (4th April 1967)
Text of a key speech in which Martin Luther King set out his public opposition to the Vietnam War. In doing so, he effectively broke ties with Lyndon Johnson. A key moment in the radicalisation of King and a clear sign of the fragmentation of the civil rights coalition. Why does King oppose the war? What does that tell you about his aims and objectives in 1967?
ML King, "Address at the Conclusion of the Selma March" 25/3/65
ML King, "Address at the Conclusion of the Selma March" 25/3/65
In this speech, King traces the history of the movement, but also explains Jim Crow by drawing on C. Vann Woodward's famous text, The Strange Career of Jim Crow. How is king's analysis - and his attack on poverty - different to that of earlier speeches? What does it show us about the development of his own ideas?
James Lawson on the Nashville Sit-Ins (2009)
James Lawson on the Nashville Sit-Ins (2009)
Leading civil rights theorist and strategist explains the importance of the Nashville sit-in campaign.
James Lawson on Nonviolence (2009)
James Lawson on Nonviolence (2009)
James Lawson was a member of CORE and an adviser to Martin Luther King and many others on the theory and strategy of nonviolence. Here he explains the nature of the strategy and why nonviolence doesn't mean doing nothing through the advice he gave to the Little Rock 9. Interview from 2009.
John Lewis, Speech at the March on Washington 28/8/63
John Lewis, Speech at the March on Washington 28/8/63
Lewis, the chair of SNCC is introduced by A. Philip Randolph before delivering his speech. The speech had to be hastily redrafted to be less militant after other civil rights leaders complained having read a draft released the day before. Lewis was 23.
Martin Luther King, Jr, "I Have a Dream" full speech 28/8/63
Martin Luther King, Jr, "I Have a Dream" full speech 28/8/63
The news feed of the speech which ended the day of action.
Alex Haley, Martin Luther King interview, Playboy (January 1965)
Alex Haley, Martin Luther King interview, Playboy (January 1965)
Haley's interview with King. Contains his analysis of Albany, the role of music, the aim of the SCLC, the meaning of civil rights in the North and numerous other issues. From Alax Haley's website.