Excerpts from Previously Undiscovered Riverside MLK Recording to be Aired on January 16 in CA
A Time to Break Silence: Rediscovering King’s Anti-War Speech
Excerpts from Previously Undiscovered Recording to be Aired During Celebration on January 16
New York, NY / Stanford, CA – When The Riverside Church digitized their audio collection, it contained more than anyone expected.
The King Institute, in partnership with The Riverside Church, will be releasing six audio recordings, previously unknown to historians, of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at The Riverside Church in the City of New York between August 1961 and April 1967.
Perhaps the most famous of these speeches is “Beyond Vietnam”, originally delivered at The Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before King’s assassination. The speech condemned the Vietnam War and laid out a set of policy proposals to end it. While a recording of this speech has been publicly available for years, the new recording is significantly clearer and reproduces King’s speech as it would have been heard by public radio listeners at the time.
On January 16, 2020, the King Institute will celebrate this newly discovered recording of King’s historic speech against the Vietnam War with A Time to Break Silence: Rediscovering King’s Anti-War Speech. The evening’s program will premiere excerpts of the speech, allowing attendees an opportunity to hear in a church setting the incomparable presence of King as an orator, offering a voice of moral clarity for our present moment. The event will be broadcast live on Stanford University’s FM radio station, KZSU 90.1 FM.
WHAT: A Time to Break Silence: Rediscovering King’s Anti-War Speech
WHEN: Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 7:30-9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Stanford University Memorial Church, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305
RSVP to Truman Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 723-2092
The other five audio recordings feature King delivering sermons from The Riverside Church pulpit: “Paul’s Letter to American Christians” on August 13, 1961; “The Dimensions of a Complete Life” on November 18, 1962; “A Knock at Midnight” on August 9, 1964; “The Man Who Was A Fool” on August 8, 1965; and “Transformed Nonconformist” on January 23, 1966.
These sermons had previously been delivered by King elsewhere, but the versions preached from the Riverside pulpit were notably altered from their original versions. King often referred to recent events and issues relevant to the Riverside congregation, in particular racial segregation and income inequality in New York City, and even referenced aspects of The Riverside Church’s neo-Gothic architecture and statuary to illustrate his sermons. These recordings have the potential to transform King scholars’ understanding of his intellectual and political development.
In celebration of MLK Day 2020, all six of these pristine audio recordings will be made publicly available by The King Institute and the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) at kinginstitute.stanford.edu.
The King Institute, directed by Professor Clayborne Carson and affiliated with Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and the King Center in Atlanta, assembles and disseminates to various worldwide audiences comprehensive resources about King’s life and the movements he inspired. The AAPB is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH, and coordinates a national effort to preserve at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity, and provides a central web portal for access to the unique programming that public stations have aired over the past 70 years.
The King recordings were digitized as part of a larger joint project between The Riverside Church and the AAPB. In May 2018, The Riverside Church Archives received a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to digitize, preserve, and make publicly accessible a previously unavailable collection of recordings from the public radio station WRVR. Owned and operated by The Riverside Church from 1961 to 1976, WRVR was the first station to win a Peabody Award for its entire programming, in part for Birmingham: Testament of Nonviolence, a six-part radio documentary covering the Civil Rights movement in Birmingham, AL in 1963.
About The Riverside Church
Located in Morningside Heights, The Riverside Church in the City of New York is one of the leading voices of progressive Christianity, influential on America’s religious and political landscape for 90 years. Built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick, the interracial, interdenominational, and international church has long been a forum for important civic and spiritual leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and many others. It is currently led by interim Senior Minister Rev. Michael Livingston. Visit www.trcnyc.org or find us on social media to learn more about our rich history and the latest news and events.
About The King Institute
The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University assembles and disseminates comprehensive resources about King’s life and the movements he inspired to diverse worldwide audiences. While the Institute focuses on the completion of the definitive, multi-volume edition of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., its mission incorporates related activities and programs. These include publication of other books intended for general and scholarly audiences as well as hosting conferences, symposia, and other public events designed to enhance understanding of King’s life, ideas, and legacy. In addition, the Institute’s Liberation Curriculum initiative produces educational materials and lesson plans, and conducts teacher development workshops encouraging the use of the Papers Project’s online documentary materials. kinginstitute.stanford.edu
About the American Archive of Public Broadcasting
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) is a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the WGBH Educational Foundation to coordinate a national effort to preserve at-risk public media before its content is lost to posterity and provide a central web portal for access to the unique programming that public stations have aired over the past 70 years. To date, more than 100,000 television and radio programs, and original materials contributed by more than 120 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been digitized for long-term preservation and access. The entire collection is available on location at the Library of Congress and WGBH, and more than 50,000 programs are available online at americanarchive.org.
The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. Clir.org