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Martin Luther King, Jr The Future Of Integration Speech For Sale

Martin Luther King, Jr The Future Of Integration Speech

Original transcript of a speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. on 11 November 1959 to Iowa State University. Titled, ''The Future of Integration'', speech discusses the civil rights climate at that time and concludes with MLK's unwavering beliefs in civil non-violence. Reads in part, ''Broadly speaking there have been at least three distinct periods in the history of race relations in this nation, each representing growth over a former period. It is interesting to note that in each period there finally came a decision from the Supreme Court to give legal and constitutional validity to the dominant thought patterns of that particular period. The first period in the area of race relations extended from 1619 to 1863. This was the period of slavery. During this period the Negro was considered a thing to be used rather than a person to be respected. He was de-personalized cog in a vast plantation machine. In 1857, there finally came a decision from the Supreme Court to give constitutional validity to the whole system of slavery. This decision, known as the Dred Scott decision, stated in substance that the Negro is not a citizen of this nation; he was merely property subject to the dictates of his owner. The second period in the development of race relations in America extended, broadly speaking, from 1863 to 1954. This was the period of restricted emancipation We must admit that this second period was something of an improvement over the first stage of race relations, because it at least freed the Negro from the bondage of physical slavery, and accepted him as a legal fact. But it was not the best stage because it failed to accept the negro as a person. It was, therefore, very easy for the ethos of segregation to emerge as the basic principle and practice of this period. In 1896, through the famous Plessy versus Ferguson decision, the Supreme court established the doctrine of separate but equal as the law of the land. Through this decision the dominant thought patterns of the second stage of race relations was given legal and constitutional validity. But because segregation is at bottom a form of slavery covered up with certain niceties of complexity, the end results of the period of restricted emancipation was that of plunging the Negro into the abyss of oppression where he experienced the bleakness of nagging injustice. The third period in the development of race relations in America had its beginning on May seventeenth, 1954. This is the period of constructive integration. It is the period in which men seek to rise the level of genuine intergroup and interpersonal living. The Supreme Court's decision, which came to give legal and constitutional validity to the dominant thought patterns of this period, stated that the old Plessy doctrine must go, that separate facilities were inherently unequal, and that to segregate a child on the basis of his race is to deny that child of equal protection of the law. As a result of this decision we find ourselves standing on the threshold of the third and most constructive period in the development of race relations in the history of our nation. To state it figuratively in Biblical terms, we have broken loose from the Egypt of slavery; We have moved through the wilderness of ''separate but equal,'' and now we stand on the border of the promised land of integration. As we stand at the threshold of this third period of race relations, we notice two contradictory forces at work in the South: the forces of defiance and the forces of compliance. The forces of defiance are at work in several ways. Many public officials are using the power of their offices to defy the law of the land. Through their irresponsible actions, their inflammatory statements, and their dissemination of distortions and half truths, they have succeeded in arousing abnormal fears and moroffer antipathies within the minds of underprivileged and uneducated whites, leaving them in such a state of excitement and confusion that they are led to acts of meanness and violence that no normal person would commit. This defiance also expresses itself in the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan. Determined to preserve segregation at any cost, this organization employs methods are crude and primitive...There is always the implied threat of violence. Then there are the White Citizens' Councils. Since they operate on a higher political and economic level than the Klan, a halo of respectability hovers over them. But like the Klan, they are determined to preserve segregation and thereby defy the desegregation rulings of the Supreme Court. They base their defense on the legal maneuvers of ''interposition'' and ''nullification.'' Unfortunately for those who disagree with the Councils, their methods do not stop with legal tactics; their methods range from threats and intimidation to economic reprisals against Negro men and women. These methods also extend to white persons who will dare to take a stand for justice. They demand absolute conformity from whites and abject submission from Negroes...'' 12pp. speech measures 8.5'' x 11'' with staple to top left and minor toning throughout. Very good condition.

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Martin Luther King, Jr The Future Of Integration Speech

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