Home Martin Luther King & D.C. April 18, 1959 - Youth March for Integrated Schools
Aug 10
Wednesday
It's already tomorrow! You got things to activate!
April 18, 1959 - Youth March for Integrated Schools E-mail

http://www.peaceworkmagazine.org/pwork/1298/declead4.htm

MLK Speech Before the Youth March for Integrated Schools

On 18 April 1959, King, along with several other civil rights leaders, including Daisy Bates, Harry Belafonte, A. Philip Randolph, Jackie Robinson, and Roy Wilkins, spoke before 26,000 black high school and college students who had come to the nation's capital to demonstrate their support for the 1954 Supreme Court decision against racial segregation in the nation's public schools. This was the second consecutive year that such a march was held. The first march, with 10,000 students present, was held on 25 October 1958. Liberal Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois had the texts of the march's speeches placed in the Congressional Record.

As I stand here and look out upon the thousands of Negro faces, and the thousands of white faces, intermingled like the waters of a river, I see only one face-the face of the future.

Yes, as I gaze upon this great historic assembly, this unprecedented gathering of young people, I cannot help thinking-that a hundred years from now the historians will be calling this not the "beat" generation, but the generation of integration.

The fact that thousands of you came here to Washington and that thousands more signed your petition proves that this generation will not take "No" for an answer-will not take double talk for an answer-will not take gradualism for an answer. It proves that the only answer you will settle for is-total desegregation and total equality-now.

I know of no words eloquent enough to express the deep meaning, the great power, and the unconquerable spirit back of this inspiringly original, uniquely American march of young people. Nothing like it has ever happened in the history of our nation. Nothing, that is, except the last youth march. What this march demonstrates to me, above all else, is that you young people, through your own experience, have somehow discovered the central fact of American life-that the extension of democracy for all Americans depends upon complete integration of Negro Americans.

By coming here you have shown yourselves to be highly alert, highly responsible young citizens. And very soon the area of your responsibility will increase, for you will begin to exercise your greatest privilege as an American-the right to vote. Of course, you will have no difficulty exercising this privilege-if you are white.

But I wonder if you can understand what it feels like to be a Negro, living in the South, where, by attempting to exercise this right, you may be taking your life in your hands.

The denial of the vote not only deprives the Negro of his constitutional rights-but what is even worse-it degrades him as a human being. And yet, even this degradation, which is only one of many humiliations of everyday life, is losing its ability to degrade. For the southern Negro is learning to transform his degradation into resistance. Nonviolent resistance. And by so doing he is not only achieving his dignity as a human being, he is helping to advance democracy in the South. This is why my colleagues and I in the Southern Leadership Conference are giving our major attention to the campaign to increase the registration of Negro voters in the South to three million. Do you realize what would happen in this country if we were to gain three million southern Negro votes? We could change the composition of Congress. We could have a Congress far more responsive to the voters' will. We could have all schools integrated-north and south. A new era would open to all Americans. Thus, the Negro, in his struggle to secure his own rights is destined to enlarge democracy for all people, in both a political and a social sense.

Indeed in your great movement to organize a march for integrated schools you have actually accomplished much more. You have awakened on hundreds of campuses throughout the land a new spirit of social inquiry to the benefit of all Americans.

This is really a noble cause. As June approaches, with its graduation ceremonies and speeches, a thought suggests itself. You will hear much about careers, security, and prosperity. I will leave the discussion of such matters to your deans, your principals, and your valedictorians. But I do have a graduation thought to pass along to you. Whatever career you may choose for yourself-doctor, lawyer, teacher-let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life.

It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher. It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can. It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selfessly helping your fellow man. Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.

__________________________________________

Nancy Davis is student at Plymouth State College, Plymouth NH. She read from two of Dr. King's speeches and made these remarks at the Martin Luther King rally in Concord, NH Oct 25, 1998. New Hampshire is the only state that does not honor Dr. King by name with a state holiday. The most recent attempt to add King's name to "Civil Rights Day" passed the State Senate, but fell short by one vote in the House, in 1997. Identical legislation will be offered again in 1999.

What I just read was an excerpt from one of Dr. King's speeches for the Youth March on Washington.

And 30 years later that speech still applies. I remember my first year as a New Hampshire resident back in 1990, when I was informed that New Hampshire did not celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday. As a young child I was more confused than angry. I did not understand how one state could withhold celebrating the life of a man that the whole world honors. It wasn't until the first student march that my father and St. Paul's school organized that I realized that New Hampshire refused to celebrate MLK because they did not want to honor all the work that he had done for civil rights throughout his life.

I have spent the last ten years in New Hampshire and every year I have fought to help the people of New Hampshire understand why Martin Luther King was so important to humanity and where we are today. If it were not for him, I, as well as many of you, would not be here today. I am very honored to have this opportunity to share my feelings here at the capital but I am disappointed that it is necessary. As I mentioned I have been here every year since the first march, and every year after the vote I have cried. I cannot understand what would drive a person to vote against celebrating the life of one man who fought to protect the lives of many. I am not prejudiced. I know that there were many other men and women who deserve holidays for the contributions they have made to the world but if the entire nation wants show respect for MLK then tell me what makes New Hampshire so different, so separated that they cannot celebrate this holiday.

I have been here year after year and I have seen the same argument picketed among the audience, "Washington and Lincoln before King." I agree that both presidents deserve a holiday to honor their contributions to our nation but I do not understand why their names must be used against King. After all they worked towards the same goals, equal rights for all people under oppression. If having a holiday for these two presidents is that important to the people of New Hampshire, they must let their legislators know and they must fight to achieve it. But to only mention their names during a day when we are speaking for MLK puts forth the feeling that this state may be against the ideas that King stood for. And if that is the case, then isn't this state against what those presidents stood for?

Let's not forget that Martin was a great leader. He gave the people a voice. He gave them courage. He empowered us to believe in ourselves, our culture, and our nation in a nonviolent way. He not only fought against racial injustices, he fought for equality for all human beings. We should be proud to honor his name. We must move forward. Arizona has added his name (to its list of holidays) and I have faith that we will too. I believe that new generation of New Hampshire would like to add Martin Luther King's name. We can no longer be afraid of diversity. It is time to embrace it. We must stand not only united but as individuals. It is our responsibility to create change within New Hampshire. We must write our senators, mayors, and selectmen to demand change. We must put up flyers. We must convince our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the 13 Corinthians the Bible says: When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child but when I became a man I put away childish things.

We are adults. We have the power to vote.

We are not longer the next generation.

We are this generation and we will be heard.

Now let's take a moment and listen to Martin.

Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life's final common denominator-that something we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral. And I don't think of it in a morbid sense. Every now and then I ask myself, "What is it that I would want said?" And I leave the word to you this morning.

If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don't want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn't important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards, that's not important. Tell him not to mention where I went to school.

I'd like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day, that I did try, in my life, to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say, on that day, that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness.

 
Home Martin Luther King & D.C. April 18, 1959 - Youth March for Integrated Schools

Profile Information

Application afterLoad: 0.000 seconds, 0.29 MB
Application afterInitialise: 0.064 seconds, 1.36 MB
Application afterRoute: 0.069 seconds, 2.04 MB
Application afterDispatch: 0.081 seconds, 2.51 MB
Application afterRender: 0.153 seconds, 2.97 MB

Memory Usage

3142280

16 queries logged

  1. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '5057k1vp84rni36m08jq95g3t1'
  2. DELETE
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE ( TIME < '1660093058' )
  3. SELECT *
      FROM jos_session
      WHERE session_id = '5057k1vp84rni36m08jq95g3t1'
  4. INSERT INTO `jos_session` ( `session_id`,`time`,`username`,`gid`,`guest`,`client_id` )
      VALUES ( '5057k1vp84rni36m08jq95g3t1','1660095458','','0','1','0' )
  5. SELECT *
      FROM jos_components
      WHERE parent = 0
  6. SELECT folder AS TYPE, element AS name, params
      FROM jos_plugins
      WHERE published >= 1
      AND access <= 0
      ORDER BY ordering
  7. SELECT *
      FROM jos_migration_backlinks
      WHERE url LIKE 'option=com\_content&view=article&id=320:april-18-1959-youth-march-for-integrated-schools&catid=100:mlk-dc&Itemid=80%' OR sefurl LIKE 'option=com\_content&view=article&id=320:april-18-1959-youth-march-for-integrated-schools&catid=100:mlk-dc&Itemid=80%'
  8. SELECT *
      FROM jos_migration_backlinks
      WHERE url LIKE 'index.php?option=com\_content&view=article&id=320:april-18-1959-youth-march-for-integrated-schools&catid=100:mlk-dc&Itemid=80%' OR sefurl LIKE 'index.php?option=com\_content&view=article&id=320:april-18-1959-youth-march-for-integrated-schools&catid=100:mlk-dc&Itemid=80%'
  9. SELECT m.*, c.`option` AS component
      FROM jos_menu AS m
      LEFT JOIN jos_components AS c
      ON m.componentid = c.id
      WHERE m.published = 1
      ORDER BY m.sublevel, m.parent, m.ordering
  10. SELECT template
      FROM jos_templates_menu
      WHERE client_id = 0
      AND (menuid = 0 OR menuid = 80)
      ORDER BY menuid DESC
      LIMIT 0, 1
  11. SELECT a.*, u.name AS author, u.usertype, cc.title AS category, s.title AS SECTION, CASE WHEN CHAR_LENGTH(a.alias) THEN CONCAT_WS(":", a.id, a.alias) ELSE a.id END AS slug, CASE WHEN CHAR_LENGTH(cc.alias) THEN CONCAT_WS(":", cc.id, cc.alias) ELSE cc.id END AS catslug, g.name AS groups, s.published AS sec_pub, cc.published AS cat_pub, s.access AS sec_access, cc.access AS cat_access  
      FROM jos_content AS a
      LEFT JOIN jos_categories AS cc
      ON cc.id = a.catid
      LEFT JOIN jos_sections AS s
      ON s.id = cc.SECTION
      AND s.scope = "content"
      LEFT JOIN jos_users AS u
      ON u.id = a.created_by
      LEFT JOIN jos_groups AS g
      ON a.access = g.id
      WHERE a.id = 320
      AND (  ( a.created_by = 0 )    OR  ( a.state = 1
      AND ( a.publish_up = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_up <= '2022-08-10 01:37:38' )
      AND ( a.publish_down = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_down >= '2022-08-10 01:37:38' )   )    OR  ( a.state = -1 )  )
  12. UPDATE jos_content
      SET hits = ( hits + 1 )
      WHERE id='320'
  13. SELECT a.id, CASE WHEN CHAR_LENGTH(a.alias) THEN CONCAT_WS(":", a.id, a.alias) ELSE a.id END AS slug, CASE WHEN CHAR_LENGTH(cc.alias) THEN CONCAT_WS(":", cc.id, cc.alias) ELSE cc.id END AS catslug
      FROM jos_content AS a
      LEFT JOIN jos_categories AS cc
      ON cc.id = a.catid
      WHERE a.catid = 100
      AND a.state = 1
      AND a.access <= 0
      AND ( a.state = 1 OR a.state = -1 )
      AND ( publish_up = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR publish_up <= '2022-08-10 01:37:38' )
      AND ( publish_down = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR publish_down >= '2022-08-10 01:37:38' )
      ORDER BY a.ordering
  14. SELECT id, title, module, POSITION, content, showtitle, control, params
      FROM jos_modules AS m
      LEFT JOIN jos_modules_menu AS mm
      ON mm.moduleid = m.id
      WHERE m.published = 1
      AND m.access <= 0
      AND m.client_id = 0
      AND ( mm.menuid = 80 OR mm.menuid = 0 )
      ORDER BY POSITION, ordering
  15. SELECT a.*, cc.title AS ctitle, s.title AS stitle,  CASE WHEN CHAR_LENGTH(a.alias) THEN CONCAT_WS(":", a.id, a.alias) ELSE a.id END AS slug, CASE WHEN CHAR_LENGTH(cc.alias) THEN CONCAT_WS(":", cc.id, cc.alias) ELSE cc.id END AS catslug
     
      FROM jos_content AS a
     
      INNER JOIN jos_categories AS cc
      ON cc.id = a.catid
     
      INNER JOIN jos_sections AS s
      ON s.id = a.sectionid
     
      WHERE ( a.state = '1'
      AND a.checked_out = '0' )
     
      AND ( a.publish_up = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_up <= '2022-08-10 01:37:38' )
     
      AND ( a.publish_down = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_down >= '2022-08-10 01:37:38' )
     
      AND a.access <= 0
      AND cc.access <= 0
      AND s.access <= 0
     
      AND ( a.catid IN (39,42) )
     
      ORDER BY a.created DESC
      LIMIT 0,5
  16. SELECT a.*, CASE WHEN CHAR_LENGTH(a.alias) THEN CONCAT_WS(":", a.id, a.alias) ELSE a.id END AS slug, CASE WHEN CHAR_LENGTH(cc.alias) THEN CONCAT_WS(":", cc.id, cc.alias) ELSE cc.id END AS catslug
      FROM jos_content AS a
      INNER JOIN jos_categories AS cc
      ON cc.id = a.catid
      INNER JOIN jos_sections AS s
      ON s.id = a.sectionid
      WHERE a.state = 1  
      AND a.access <= 0
      AND cc.access <= 0
      AND s.access <= 0
      AND (a.publish_up = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_up <= '2022-08-10 01:37:38' )  
      AND (a.publish_down = '0000-00-00 00:00:00' OR a.publish_down >= '2022-08-10 01:37:38' )
      AND cc.id = 82
      AND cc.SECTION = s.id
      AND cc.published = 1
      AND s.published = 1
      ORDER BY a.ordering
      LIMIT 0, 5

0 legacy queries logged

    Language Files Loaded

    Untranslated Strings Diagnostic

    None

    Untranslated Strings Designer

    None