The King Collection

News & Events


Civil and Human Rights Book Series: Dr. Justin Rose


2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection Student Essay Contest Winners



2019 Annual Student Essay Contest


2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection Student Essay Contest Winners


Film Screening and Discussion of Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr.: Reflections on His Legacy



Elected as the first African-American mayor in the “City Too Busy to Hate,” Maynard Jackson believed in social, political, and economic inclusiveness; he greatly increased minority business participation, transforming Atlanta into one of the most progressive cities in the south and the nation. This film documents the groundbreaking leadership of Maynard Jackson who was elected to three terms and whose legacy stretched far beyond Atlanta in the course of his lifetime. Based upon interviews conducted by Shirley Franklin, Atlanta’s first female mayor, it traces Jackson’s contributions to social change through anecdotes and narratives from those who worked closely with him.


2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection Student Essay Contest Winners


2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection Student Essay Contest Winners

2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection Student Essay Contest Winners


 First Place Winner
    John-Coahle A. Merryfield
Second Place Winner
    Joseph Williams
Third Place Winner
    Thomas L. Darby II
Honorable Mention
    Marshall Forney
    Jordan M. Mosby


Commemorative Symposium Honoring the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.


2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection Student Essay Contest Winners with Essay Contest Judges, Dr. Francine Allen, Associate Professor of English and Dr. Carter Savage



Anne Wise, director of the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s National Arts and Sciences Initiative, mentions the work of the Morehouse King Collection as she shares her perspective on the importance of the humanities in American life and culture.

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Vigil for Peace and Justice
April 4, 2017

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. | A Vigil for Peace and Justice



The Phi Beta Kappa Society Celebrates City of Atlanta as an Arts & Sciences City of Distinction
Local Organizations Lauded for Cultural Vibrancy and Accessibility


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 14, 2017 – The Phi Beta Kappa Society—which inducts outstanding undergraduate students—will celebrate the City of Atlanta as an Arts & Sciences City of Distinction. The award is designed to showcase metropolitan areas with exceptional artistic vitality, cultural vibrancy and scientific engagement.


Read the full press release: The Phi Beta Kappa Society


Workshop: Teaching the Movement for Civil and Human Rights

New Book Series

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Workshop: Melding Formal and Informal Education for Social Change

New Book Series

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New Book Series

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Article from "The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education"


New Book Series

View this article on The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education website »




Annual Student Essay Contest
Deadline for Submission: March 3, 2015


King Legacy Scholars Flyer

Download the flyer (pdf)





Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture Series
An Evening with Benjamin Todd Jealous


King Legacy Scholars Flyer


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King Legacy Scholars Visit National Center for Civil and Human Rights


King Legacy Scholars Flyer


The Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Scholars Program


King Legacy Scholars Flyer

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2014 Student Essay Contest


Essay Contest

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50th Anniversary March on Washington - Teach-In and Viewing of Documents


Essay Contest

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Morehouse Opens King Papers - GPB News


By Claire Simms


ATLANTA — Morehouse graduate Charles Black was one of just eight students to take a social philosophy course from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the college in 1961. (Photo by Claire Simms)
Morehouse College will host a public program on its Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection Wednesday as part of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.


Read the full story and listen to the podcast: Georgia Public Broadcasting


2013 Student Essay Contest


Essay Contest

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King Legacy Scholars and Bayard Rustin Scholars

King Legacy Scholars

Reading, Writing and Remembering King - 2012 Student Essay Contest Winners

Contest Winners

First Place Abram Daniel Vera
Second Place Jon Alex Watford
Third Place Reginald Hutchins
Honorable Mention Octavious Talbot  

My View: Remembering Dr. King and the movement for civil and human rights
by Vicki Crawford, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note:  Vicki Crawford
  holds a Ph.D. from Emory University in American Studies, concentrating in 20th century African-American studies.  Crawford is the director of the Office of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, where she is developing campus-based programming in support of the collection.


As we approach the 26th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. observance and reflect upon the recent opening and dedication of a national memorial in King’s honor, we should consider how we might engage a living legacy of the human rights leader that brings us closer to the democratic vision he so passionately embraced.  A first step is to commit ourselves to teaching and learning about the civil rights movement, one of the most transformative democratic freedom struggles of modern times. Often, in  schools and colleges around the nation,  the movement is reduced to a few days of study and over-emphasis on a master narrative that is simplistic in its failure to interrogate the  many complexities and nuanced interactions among its leaders, participants and organizations.  A recent study revealed that American students have very limited knowledge of this significant period in the nation’s history which continues to impact events around the globe.


Students may recognize King’s “I have a Dream Speech” and know about Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, but few would recognize King’s important sermons and speeches delivered during the later years of his life. Would they comprehend King’s courageous stand against the Vietnam War? What about his incisive critique of economic disparities which led him to rally to the cause of sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee?  As educators, we have a responsibility to connect young people to our past; we must give them  knowledge, understanding and appreciation for  the  triumphs and failures of this period in American history. We should teach the movement with emphasis on both leaders and followers, and include the often neglected, but indispensible contributions of women. Also, we should point out how children and young people were pivotal to societal change, especially college students and others who were active in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.


We honor Dr. King best when we commit to education for social change. As educators, we should initiate a national conversation on teaching and learning civil rights history that would enable us to address the commonalities and differences between the movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s and today’s global struggles for democracy. To be sure, this conversation would help us in our quest to engage students in deep thinking about what King called the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism.


At Morehouse College, Dr. King’s alma mater, we advance the teachings and nonviolent philosophy of Dr. King through a number of curricular and co-curricular initiatives. As custodian to more than 13,000 original documents from King’s personal library, we provide a wealth of opportunities for students to engage civil rights history, in general, and learn about Dr. King, more specifically. Our partnership with middle and secondary schools continues to grow, while our summer institute provides an opportunity to reach the next generation of future leaders. Education for the 21st century must equip students to embrace the “challenge of change.” Teaching and learning about the most transformative movement in the nation’s modern era is a powerful tool to be resourced.


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Vicki Crawford.


This article was originally posted here:

The Unfinished Work of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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2012 Student Essay Contest: Reading, Writing, and Remembering King

Download the flyer (pdf)

Essay Contest

Download the flyer (pdf)

Course Announcement: The Last Years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Future of America
HHIS 476: Seminar in Recent U.S. History – The Last Years of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Future of America (3 Credit Hours): This course will focus on the last years—the post March on Washington years—of Dr. King's life (1963-1968). We will explore the significance of those often neglected years for 21st Century America, especially for its younger generation, and their role in continuing the crucial work of re-creating this nation in the direction of "a more perfect union." The approach of the class will be highly dialogical, based on our common reading, our diverse experiences, and our commitment to engage each other at the deepest possible levels.

more information (pdf).

Call for Proposals
Course Development or Research and Scholarship Utilizing the Morehouse King Collection

One of the primary objectives of the Office of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection is to encourage teaching, research and scholarship utilizing the King Collection. Containing approximately 10,000 items representing the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Collection provides extraordinary insight into King's thoughts, personality, ministerial preparation and organizational skills during the most significant years of the Civil Rights era. Additionally, the Collection contains a wealth of material reflecting social movement formation, global developments, and social, political and cultural currents of unparalleled significance in the twentieth century.

Morehouse College full-time faculty members are invited to submit proposals across the disciplines for either course development or scholarly research in the collection, commencing this summer and extending through the end of the fall semester 2012. Seven (7) projects will be selected and awarded individual teaching/research grants in the amount of $2500.00 which will be presented in two parts, at the beginning and end of the grant period. Faculty members will be required to present their work at a scholarly roundtable in January 2012. The criteria for selection includes the following:

Curriculum development projects - including syllabi revision and new course components that integrate primary source documents in the Collection and that advance the study of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the struggle for freedom, both within the United States and world-wide.

Research and Scholarship projects - incorporating primary documents from the Collection into work-in-progress towards conference papers, book chapters, and scholarly articles that have been accepted for publication.

Please submit a one-page proposal to the review panel that includes the following: name and project title, description of the project, clear statement of purpose , including goals, and statement detailing how the project will encourage and expand use of the Collection and benefit the college. The deadline for submission of the proposal is June 15, 2011 for a start date of July 1, 2011. Notification of acceptance will be made in late June.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Vicki Crawford, Director
Office of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
(404) 215-6220

We are pleased to announce the 2011 Reading, Writing, and Remembering King Essay Contest Winners!
Atlanta Public Schools

1st Place
Telvin Carter
Booker T. Washington H.S.
2nd Place
Khalif Gresham
Booker T. Washington H.S.
3rd Place
Shaquitta Bell
Booker T. Washington H.S.

Morehouse College

1st Place
Arron Washington Childs
2nd Place
M. Louis Deas II
3rd Place
Nathaniel Goulbourne

All Labor Has Dignity:
Martin Luther King's Gospel of Economic Justice

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 2:30 - 4 p.m.
African-American Hall of Fame, 2nd Floor
Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel, Morehouse College

Dr. Michael Honey, Haley Professor of Humanities
University of Washington Tacoma

Editor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s labor speeches, All Labor Has Dignity (2011); and author of Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award) Martin Luther King died in Memphis campaigning for collective bargaining rights for public employees on April 4, 1968. Award-winning historian Michael Honey has collected and edited King's previously unknown labor speeches for Beacon Press. He will speak about King's gospel of economic justice and its legacy for today.

Reception and book signing to follow.

Sponsored by Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
and the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel.

2011 King Essay Contest

Soundtrack for a Revolution
The film will be shown on January 26, 2011 followed by a dialogue with Dr. Vincent Harding


Save the Date

July 13 - July 17, 2011
First Annual Student Conference on Nonviolence And Social Justice

The Office of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection invites the next generation of global leaders to attend the First Annual Student Conference on Nonviolence and Social Justice on the campus of historic Morehouse College, July 13-17, 2011. If you are a campus leader who has excelled academically and has a demonstrated commitment to community service, human rights and social justice, we encourage your application. For more information, please contact us:

Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
The Leadership Center
Morehouse College
830 Westview Drive, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30314
Phone: (404) 681-7554
Fax: (404) 614-8569

International Group of Ambassadors Get Close Look at
Morehouse and King Collection


Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens of Sierra Leone has long been an admirer of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. '48.

"The 'I Have a Dream' speech, I learned it by heart as a student," Stevens said after he and 50 ambassadors from around the world were introduced to King and Morehouse during an Oct. 13 visit to the Atlanta University Center's Robert W. Woodruff Library.

"To this day, I can say every single word of it by heart," he said. "It shows my affinity towards King and my admiration for what he did. So for me, Morehouse represents that legacy."

Stevens' story is just one of many as the international dignitaries got an up close look at Morehouse and the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. It was part of their "Experience America" tour of Atlanta. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the tour gives ambassadors an opportunity to see U.S. cities they've been curious about.

Asked by the State Department which city they wanted to learn more about, the ambassadors chose Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Their interest in Morehouse mirrors the College's emphasis on international relations, said Julius Coles, director of the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs and Office of Global Education.

"We also are taking the whole process of internationalization of our curriculum very seriously," he said. "We are seeking to double, even triple, the number of students who participate in study abroad programs."

Chinese Studies Program seniors Sean Haythe and Jermaine McMihelk recited poems in Mandarin Chinese; senior Ali Osman talked about his study abroad experiences in China and Turkey; and Boris Dobrijevic, a freshman from Johannesburg, South Africa, talked about his journey to Morehouse.

Vicki Crawford, executive director of the Morehouse King Collection, gave an overview of the 10,000-piece collection housed in the Library. The ambassadors also saw a video detailing the College's acquisition of the Collection.

"I was very moved when I was looking at the video. I had to fight back the tears," said Ambassador La Celia Prince of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. "This is a rich legacy. Atlanta is the home of the civil rights movement and it would have been a sin and a shame for these documents to not be vested in the rightful owners, which are the people of Atlanta. So I was very moved and I think it even heightened my appreciation of Dr. King."

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed agreed.

"When you see the enormous amount of human sacrifice that was put forth to provide the lives we have today — for both black people and white people — it's hard not to be moved by the details of it," he said. "It's one thing to have a view of the architecture, if you will. I think it's another thing altogether to look at the details that make up Dr. King's life."