A Prophecy Reclaimed
King’s Voice Returns to Riverisde

Sunday, April 5 | 3:00 pm | Doors open at 2:00 pm | Nave

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On April 4, 1967, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the unprecedented Beyond Vietnam speech at The Riverside Church, calling out America’s war on Vietnam and arguing for profound moral change at home. He was assassinated exactly one year later. At the time of the speech, Dr. King was widely criticized but his claim that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death” proved prophetic in a modern-day America still struggling with racism, inequality, and never-ending war.

Hosted by The Riverside Church and WNYC, Dr. King’s powerful words will return to the Nave of The Riverside Church through a newly-discovered pristine recording previously unknown to historians. Leading intellectuals of our time will offer their thoughts on Beyond Vietnam’s meaning to us today:

Dr. Clayborne Carson
Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor of History and Ronnie Lott Founding Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University

Prof. Susannah Heschel
Chair of Jewish Studies Program and Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College

Dr. Cornel West
Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Harvard University, and Professor Emeritus, Princeton University

Beyond Vietnam, along with five other audio recordings featuring Dr. King delivering sermons from The Riverside Church pulpit, were digitized as part of a larger joint project between The Riverside Church and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting. In 2018, The Riverside Church Archives received a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to digitize, preserve, and make publicly accessible previously unavailable audio recordings from the collection of the radio station WRVR. Owned and operated by The Riverside Church from 1961 to 1976, WRVR became the first public radio station to win a Peabody Award for its entire programming in 1963, in part for its coverage of the Civil Rights movement in Birmingham, AL.