Proud To Be Maladjusted Dartmouth College In 1962
Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech at Dartmouth College in 1962 is sometimes forgotten, but it’s a great example of the reverend’s powerful rhetoric. In the talk, he first explains the sociological term “maladjusted” as someone who cannot accept social norms and society. But King turns the entire term on its head, saying he is happy to be maladjusted if it means adapting to racism and a society built against him and his people.
“But I say to you, my friends, as I move to my conclusion, there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good-will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize,” he said in the speech. “I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination.”
Mahalia Jackson Prompts Mlk: ‘tell ’em About The Dream Martin’
Around the halfway point of the speech, Mahalia Jackson implored him to Tell em about the Dream, Martin. Whether or not King consciously heard, he soon moved away from his prepared text.
Repeating the mantra, I have a dream, he offered up hope that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character and the desire to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
And when this happens, he bellowed in his closing remarks, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of Gods children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’
The Other America Stanford University On April 14 1967
Just ten days after his controversial “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence” speech, the reverend gave another iconic speech at Stanford University. This time, he focused on the inequality between whites and blacks in America. In “The Other America” he talked about how the poverty gap and economic injustice were a result of racism.
“One America is beautiful for situation millions of young people grow up in the sunlight of opportunity,” he says in the speech. “But tragically and unfortunately, there is another America. This other America has a daily ugliness about it that constantly transforms the ebullience of hope into the fatigue of despair They find themselves perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.”
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‘paul’s Letter To American Christians’
On November 4, 1956, King delivered a sermon to the congregation of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama in the form of a fictional letter from the apostle Paul to American Christians of the 1950s. As the churchs pastor, King used this unconventional format to draw attention to the widening gap between the countrys moral and spiritual progress, and its scientific and technological development. He also took on the potential dangers of capitalism, and the destructive evil of segregation. King delivered this sermon again at a meeting of the Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations in Pittsburgh on June 3, 1958.
I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheelbase on your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity. The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation.
‘i’ve Been To The Mountaintop’
King gave his final speech on April 3, 1968 at Mason Temple in Memphis, fewer than 24 hours before he was assassinated. Striking sanitation workers packed the church beyond capacity to see King on his third trip to Memphis in support of their cause in less than a month. In his address, he explains that if given the choice to live during any period of human history, he would have chosen the second-half of the 20th century because grappling with racial, social and economic injustices were a matter of survival. From there, he called on those in attendance to remain united in their fight against injustice without the use of violence.
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. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike, but either we go up together, or we go down together.
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I May Not Get There With You But I Want You To Know Tonight That We As A People Will Get To The Promised Land
from Dr. King speech in Memphis on April 3, 1968, a day before he was assassinated.
Rutha Mae Harris, 80, of Albany, Ga., said she believed Dr. Kings speeches often warned of the kind of conflict that unfolded in Washington on Jan. 6. Ms. Harris, who marched with Dr. King during the civil rights era, recalled, in particular, the famous speech he gave in Memphis a day before he was killed.
With the rhetoric of Trump, I myself knew that something would happen, she said. This had been building up for four years. She said Dr. King was a man of vision, but that the vision captured the darkness as well as the light. She noted, He said, I might not get there with you, and, of course, you can read in between the lines.
‘beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break The Silence’
Although King had spoken about his opposition to the Vietnam War publicly since 1965, his Beyond Vietnam speechdelivered on April 4, 1967is considered his first major public statement that centered on making a case against American involvement in the conflict.
Addressing a crowd of approximately 3,000 people in Riverside Church in New York City, King outlined seven reasons why he thought it was time that he, as a civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, needed to take a stance on the Vietnam War. These included the economic burdens of sending American troops to fight in Vietnam , and the ongoing violence against Vietnamese civilians caught in the crossfire. This ended up being one of Kings most controversial speeches.
Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the Black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem.
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Celebrating Mlk: How To Improvise An Iconic Speech For The Ages
I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963, Washington, DC
It is the most famous speech in the 20th century by one of the most inspiring orators in our countrys history. While the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., began with prepared remarks, the most well-known part of the speech containing the theme I have a dream was created on August 28, 1963 as King addressed the crowd of over 250,000 on the Mall in Washington, DC.
Tell em About the Dream
Kings speechwriter, Clarence B. Jones, tells this story in his book Behind the Dream, written in 2011. The story was told in an article in Forbes online in 2013.
In the seventh paragraph, something extraordinary happened. King paused. In that brief silence, Mahalia Jackson, a gospel singer and good friend of Kings, shouted tell em about the dream. Few people heard her, with the exception of Jones, Ted Kennedy, and, of course, King. Heres what happened next. Jones saw King push the text of his prepared remarks to one side of the lectern. He shifted gears in a heartbeat, abandoning whatever final version hed preparedhed given himself over to the spirit of the moment. Jones leaned over to the person standing next to him and said, These people out there today dont know it yet, but theyre about to go to church.
We Cannot Walk Alone
Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence
“We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long, they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor. Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam.
“I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours the initiative to stop it must be ours.
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How Did Martin Luther King Jr Die
Martin Luther King, Jr., was standing on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, when he was shot by James Earl Ray. An hour later, King died at St. Josephs hospital. His death sparked riots across the country. In the United States he is memorialized on the third Monday of January every year, which was first observed as a federal holiday in 1986.
A List Of Iconic Martin Luther King Jr Quotes Plus How To Listen To His Speeches And Read His Work
In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s enduring legacy and powerful words, here is a list of some important speeches he made during his life. Weve pulled some of our favorite quotes, but we urge you to read and watch them in their entirety to understand and appreciate the full depth of Dr. Kings radical work.
Pauls Letter to American Christians
Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problemYou can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth. God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty.
Listen to the sermon below, or read the transcript here.
I Have a Dream
Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Read the full letter here, which Dr. King began drafting in the margins of a newspaper editorial while imprisoned.
Nobel Peace Prize Lecture
Listen to the lecture below, or read the transcript here.
Proud to be Maladjusted
Watch a clip of the address below, and read the transcript here.
The Other America
The Three Evils of Society
Learn more about the Three Evils of Poverty, Racism, and Militarism here and listen to the speech below.
Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
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Our God Is Marching On Selma Alabama On March 25 1965
In March 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. to fight for African American voting rights. At the end of the march, the reverend gave his “Our God is Marching On” speech, which marked a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. Instead of focusing on legal and political rights, King’s speech prompted the movement to fight for economic equality.
At the end of the speech, King used a call-and-response technique that made this speech truly iconic.
“How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long, you shall reap what you sow. How long? Not long … How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” King said.
How Martin Luther King Jr Changed His Mind About America
Kermit Roosevelt IIIThe Nation that Never Was: Reconstructing Americas Story
More than fifty years after his death, Martin Luther King Jr. remains a towering figure in the history of American civil rights. As with most influential thinkers, there is a certain amount of ambiguity in the public understanding of King and his legacy. White Americans were very skeptical of King while he was alive, but as his reputation and popularity grew, advocates of very different positions tried to claim him for their own. Nowadays conservatives are fond of invoking his most famous speech, 1963s I Have a Dream, with its vision of a world in where people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Progressives are fonder of The Other America, a more radical speech from 1967, where he said that we may have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words of the bad people and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say wait on time.
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Dr Martin Luther King Jr And The Promises Of The American Revolution
Over the course of MLK Weekend, the Museum honors the life, service, and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout many of his speeches and writings, Dr. King powerfully invoked the words and messages of the American Revolution in his calls for civil and economic rights and in speaking out against racism. By invoking the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Dr. King returned often to a central tenet of his work: holding America and its people to the promise of the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all men, a promise made by the Founders against the backdrop of the practice of slavery and the displacement of Native peoples.
In his open Letter from Birmingham Jail written on April 16, 1963 following his arrest for participating in a non-violent demonstration against segregation, Dr. King wrote at length about the moral responsibility to fight against injustice with non-violent tactics, using Americas promises, and the peoples ownership to those promises, as a guide.
We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with the destiny of America. Before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson scratched across the pages of history the majestic word of the Declaration of Independence, we were here.
‘the Quest For Peace And Justice’
On December 11, 1964, King delivered a lecture in the auditorium of the University of Oslo after officially being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the day before. Speaking to an audience of Norwegian monarchs and politicians, as well as the Nobel Prize Committee, King’s lecture was more academic than his usual speeches, while still touching on the same themes of racial justice, nonviolent resistance, and moral and spiritual development. He also made a case as to why economic inequality must be addressed and included in any path towards peace, referring to poverty as one of the most urgent items on the agenda of modern life.
“I am only too well aware of the human weaknesses and failures which exist, the doubts about the efficacy of nonviolence, and the open advocacy of violence by some. But I am still convinced that nonviolence is both the most practically sound and morally excellent way to grapple with the age-old problem of racial injustice.”
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‘the Three Evils Of Society’
On August 31, 1967, King delivered the keynote address at the National Conference on New Politics in Chicago to an audience of roughly 3,000 people. In his speech, he made the case that racism, excessive materialism and militarism are all forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle, referring to them as the three evils of American society. Lasting nearly 45 minutes, Kings address discusses the existence of racism since the birth of the country, and calls on the government to end the war in Vietnam, and enact policies to alleviate poverty.
For the good of America, it is necessary to refute the idea that the dominant ideology in our country, even today, is freedom and equality while racism is just an occasional departure from the norm on the part of a few bigoted extremists. Racism can well be that corrosive evil that will bring down the curtain on western civilization.