2022: Stracqualurse, Veronica. (2021, December 15). Martin Luther King Jr.'s family calls for "no celebration' of MLK Day without action on voting rights legislation. CNN
This LibGuide serves as a repository for materials relating to the political work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., human rights advocate who fought tirelessly to advance through nonviolent measures messages of racial justice, social equity, economic justice, and fair labor practices on behalf of African Americans and the American people. For an exhaustive collection of King-related resources, including Dr. King's personal papers, exclusive recordings, and curriculum and lesson plans for educators, visit the website of Standford's The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute.
"When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. ... One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."
-“Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence,” Address Delivered at Riverside Church in New York City (1967)
"Let us be dissatisfied until the dark yesterdays of segregated schools will be transformed into bright tomorrows of quality integrated education. Let us be dissatisfied until integration is not seen as a problem but as an opportunity to participate in the beauty of diversity. Let us be dissatisfied until men and women, however black they may be, will be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not on the basis of the color of their skin."
"Where Do We Go From Here?," Address Delivered at the Eleventh Annual SCLC Convention (1967)
A portion of this interview:
"White America must see that no other ethnic group has been a slave on American soil.
That is one thing that other immigrant groups haven’t had to face. The other thing is that the color became a stigma.
American society made the negroes’ color a stigma.
America freed the slaves in 1863 through the Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln but gave the slaves no land or nothing in reality…to get started on.
At the same time, America was giving away millions of acres of land in the west and the Midwest which meant there was a willingness to give the white peasants from Europe an economic base.
And yet it refused to give its black peasants from Africa who came involuntarily, in chains, and had worked free for 244 years any kind of economic base.
And so emancipation for the negro was really freedom to hunger. It was freedom to the winds and rains of heaven. It was freedom without food to eat or land to cultivate and therefore it was freedom and famine at the same time.
And when white Americans tell the negro to lift himself by his own bootstraps, they don’t look over the legacy of slavery and segregation.
Now I believe we ought to do all we can and seek to lift ourselves by our own bootstraps.
But it is a cruel jest to say to the bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.
And many negroes, by the thousands and millions have been left bootless as a result of all of these years of oppression and as a result of a society that deliberately made his color a stigma and something worthless and degrading"
"Now let me say as I move to my conclusion that we've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We've got to see it through. And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school, be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike, but either we go up together or we go down together. Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness."
-"I've Been to the Mountaintop," Address Delivered During the Memphis Sanitation Strike (1968)