Previously unreleased interviews with Dr. Martin Luther King [View all]
Great article on PBS- with tapes previously unreleased. Worth listening to!
Thank you MLK!
WNYC Archives & Preservation
Previously Unreleased Interviews with The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
WNYC History Notes
By Eleanor Sandra Fischer / Andy Lanset : Director of Archives, New York Public Radio
On November 22, 1961 a radio reporter named Eleanor Fischer* interviewed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta. She was producing a documentary series on Dr. King and that southern city for the CBC called Project 62. She spoke to him again in late 1966 and early 1967. Fischer's raw interviews were given to the New York Public Radio Archives by her estate after she died in 2008 at the age of 73. As far as we know, these unedited interviews have never been presented in their entirety until now.
In this first interview tape above, Dr. King talks about growing up in Atlanta and the reasons for his decision (after considering medicine) to join the ministry. He recounts his first awareness of racism at the age of five and his mother's efforts to explain why things were this way without conveying a sense of inferiority or loss of dignity. King describes how he arrived in Montgomery, Alabama. He had long been concerned about racial injustice and wanted to be part of solving this problem in the South. He details his church's efforts to combat the clergy's prevailing political apathy by setting up political action committees, encouraging membership in the NAACP and other civil rights organizations, and trying to increase awareness of the "social gospel."
The 32-year-old civil rights leader tells Fischer how he came to embrace non-violent resistance, first through Jesus and then by reading about Gandhi. He explains that it was with the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott in December, 1955 that he felt he could put the theory of non-violent resistance into practice. Dr. King views Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 as a legal and psychological turning point for the civil rights movement, which he considers a part of a worldwide struggle.