Beyond the dream: MLK’s revolutionary analysis is still needed

A few nights ago my I attended the premiere playing of a newly discovered audio recording of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s controversial (as it turned out) “Beyond Vietnam” speech, given on April 4, 1967 at the Riverside Church in New York. The recording was one of six long lost tapes recently discovered in the archives of WRVR, a public radio station that was owned and operated by the Riverside Church from 1961 to 1976.

The public premiere of this recording was sponsored by Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute and held at Stanford’s impressive Memorial Church, an attempt to recreate the environment in which the speech was originally delivered.

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For Gandhi’s 150th Birthday: Learning from Gandhi and MLK

The latest installment of Other Voices TV was taped just last night, making it just in time for the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth today (10/2/1869). The basic thrust of the program was to discuss the upcoming conference at Stanford University called The Gandhi-King Global Initiative, an effort to forge an international network of organizations and activists dedicated to nonviolent struggle for human rights. And we did talk about the conference, but we also reviewed the personal journeys of Gandhi and King as they developed their own ideas about nonviolent resistance. My guest was Clay Carson, the founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford.

I thought one observation that Clay made was quite interesting: that Gandhi and King made their significant impacts on their respective societies in remarkably different time scales. Gandhi came to activism relatively late in life, met with limited success early on, but kept at it over a long period of time. King, alternatively, started young and had a very short period of activism (12 years) before he was assassinated. Moral of the story: there is no how-to guide for activism.

I interviewed Clay once before, back in 2014 for a program marking the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer (1964). It remains one of my favorite OV programs. You can see it here. The Freedom Summer episode was taped before the studio went all HD and it’s a bit jarring to see it today in comparison with our current video quality. But still well worth your time (as is the current episode, of course).