The lost words of Dr. Martin Luther King have been given life and being heard again.
After 45 years, Martin’s November 1964 speech at the University of Dayton rang throughout the schools field house, AOL Black Voices reports.
Ted Clark, then just 28-years old, remembers seeing MLK give the speech all those years ago. He recalls being one of just a handful of White people in the audience that day. He even remembers where he sat.
"I have to admit there was some apprehension," he told Black Voices. "You could just feel the electricity in this place it was unbelievable.”
The speech was full of optimism. "I must say that we have come a long, long way in the struggle to make civil rights a reality," King said in the speech. "Where do we see it? We see it in housing. I imagine you have some residential areas here in Dayton. …I am convinced today that segregation is on its deathbed.”
While we can’t transcribe the whole interview for you, we do have the audio below.
Dayton professor emeritus Herb Martin stumbled across the reels while looking for tapes to record old poetry performances. The speech would have been lost forever if he hadn’t stopped to see what he might be erasing.
"I was gonna tape over it, but luckily fate kept me from doing that," Herb told Black Voices. "You think, ‘Wow, this is really something of value’"
This April marks the 41st anniversary of Martin’s assassination, and Herd has donated the reels to UD’s archives.
– Sonya Eskridge