50-year-old Recording of Dr. King Speech Found in UCLA Storage Room

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Credit: newsroom.ucla.edu

A 50-year-old audio recording of a speech Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered at UCLA has recently been found in the storage room of the academic institution’s communications studies department.

The speech, which was delivered on April 27, 1965, is about 55 minutes long and was recorded on 7-inch reel-to-reel tape recorders, has become part of UCLA’s Communications Studies Speech Archive, an online repository which offers more than 400 on-campus speeches made by noted activists, celebrities and politicians between the 1960s and 1970s.

In his speech, Dr. King reiterated that issues like voter suppression, wage and education inequality, resource hoarding, and institutional racism were issues still plaguing Black-Americans and that there was still a “long, long way to go” to help dismantle those systems of oppression–including segregation. Dr. King also reminded that the massive social problems precipitated by systemic racism would result in rioting, because those forced to live outside the margins see no other way out, “Let me say that even though I said we had made great strides on the question of segregation, the problem there is not yet solved. Now, it may be true that I said, figuratively speaking, old man segregation is on its deathbed, but history has proven that social systems have a great last minute breathing power; and the guardians of the status quo are always on hand with their oxygen tents, to keep the old order alive.”

Thanks to generous donations from UCLA alumni, the department was able to digitize old speeches and publish them to YouTube.    Read more