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Playlist: Dr. Martin Luther King Day

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/dave_mckeague/">Dave Mckeague</a>
Image by: Dave Mckeague 
Curated Playlist

A transformational life through transformational radio. MLK Day is Jan. 16.

Below are picks chosen by PRX editorial staff. You can find other options for Dr. Martin Luther King Day by using our search.

Hour + (1:00:01 +)

The King of Love: A Short History of the Civil Rights Movement

From Dred-Scott Keyes | 01:30:13

An audio collage of the struggle for civil rights, focusing on the role of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Martin_luther_king_note_card_small

"The King of Love: A Short History of the Civil Rights Movement" is an audio collage of Martin Luther King Jr. and the events that shaped his life and death.


Hour (49:00-1:00:00)

"On Being" with Krista Tippett: Ruby Sales

From On Being with Krista Tippett | Part of the "On Being" with Krista Tippett Specials series | 58:00

Where does it hurt? That’s a question the civil rights icon Ruby Sales learned to ask during the days of that movement. It’s a question we scarcely know how to ask in public life now, but it gets at human dynamics that we are living and reckoning with. At a convening of 20 theologians seeking to reimagine the public good of theology for this century, Ruby Sales unsettles some of what we think we know about the force of religion in civil rights history, and names a “spiritual crisis of white America” as a calling of this time.

Onbe_master_rgb_square__1__medium_small Where does it hurt? That’s a question the civil rights icon Ruby Sales learned to ask during the days of that movement. It’s a question we scarcely know how to ask in public life now, but it gets at human dynamics that we are living and reckoning with. At a convening of 20 theologians seeking to reimagine the public good of theology for this century, Ruby Sales unsettles some of what we think we know about the force of religion in civil rights history, and names a “spiritual crisis of white America” as a calling of this time.

A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood: A Musical Journey in the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

From WQXR | 58:00

In this hour-long special from WQXR and WNYC, host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's own speeches and sermons to illustrate the powerful place that music held in his work--and examines how the musical community responded to and participated in Dr. King's cause.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up listening to and singing church songs, and saw gospel and folk music as natural tools to further the civil rights movement.

In this hour-long special from WQXR and WNYC, host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's own speeches and sermons to illustrate the powerful place that music held in his work--and examines how the musical community responded to and participated in Dr. King's cause.

Terrance McKnight is WQXR's Evening Host. He came to WQXR from WNYC, which he joined in 2008. He brings to his position wide and varied musical experience that includes performance, teaching and radio broadcast. An accomplished pianist, McKnight was also a member of the Morehouse College faculty, where he taught music appreciation and applied piano.

MLK: Three Landmark Speeches

From Good Radio Shows, Inc. | Part of the Peace Talks Radio: Weekly Hour Long Episodes series | 59:00

Three key speeches of American civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Martin Luther King Junior are excerpted and commented on by two leading King scholars.

King_small Peace Talks Radio producer Paul Ingles interviews two leading King scholars, asking each to pick speeches from those years to focus on.    You’ll hear from the late Dr. Vincent Harding, Professor of Religion and Social Transformation at Illiff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado and a personal friend and speech writing colleague of Dr. King in the 1960’s.  (Dr. Harding died in May of 2014 about 6 months after this interview)  Also mixed into our program, you’ll hear Dr. Clayborne Carson, who at Coretta Scott King’s request, has been directing the King Papers Project since 1985. Dr. Carson established the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University in 2005.  The speeches these scholars chose were… King’s last address, the night before his assassination in Memphis in April, 1968.  Also, the speech he made a year to the day before he was killed, called “Beyond Vietnam,” in which Dr. King came out publicly and explicitly in opposition to the Vietnam War. And from March of 1965, Dr. King’s remarks that he made at the conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery marches, considered a turning point in the struggle for Voting Rights and equality for African Americans.

Link to SELMA TO ALABAMA SPEECH (1965):   http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_address_at_the_conclusion_of_selma_march/

Link to BEYOND VIETNAM SPEECH (1967):  http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm

Link to BEEN TO THE MOUNTAINTOP SPEECH (1968):  http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkivebeentothemountaintop.htm

All Mixed Up with Martin Luther King Jr.

From Peter Bochan | Part of the All Mixed Up series | 58:43

A Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr and the historic March on Washington that took place 50 years ago this August with new mixes featuring Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Ingrid Michaelson, Eleanor Roosevelt and a children's choir from Newtown on "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

Mlk_washington_1963_small Join Martin Luther King Jr on "A Shortcut Back to Washington 1963" with the voices, sounds and music that was popular as activists marched on Washington, including Mahalia jackson, "Little" Stevie Wonder, the Rooftop Singers, JFK, Walter Cronkite, the Four Seasons, Peter, Paul & Mary , Pete Seeger and 4th Grade Students from the Hudson Valley, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole blended with Eleanor Roosevelt, Ingrid Michealson featuring students from Newtown, John Lennon and the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir, John & Yoko (Africa Mix) [feat. Rokia Traore], Moodswings and much more

King's Last March

From American Public Media | Part of the American RadioWorks: Black History series | 59:00

Although it was one of the most challenging and controversial chapters of his career, the final year of King's life has not been the focus of significant public attention. This dramatic and illuminating documentary uses a rich mix of archival tape, oral histories and contemporary interviews to paint a vivid picture of what may have been the most difficult year of Dr. King's life.

Img073_small On April 4th, 1967 Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a landmark speech from the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York. He called for an end to the Vietnam War. Exactly one year later, King was assassinated in Memphis. He was 39 years old. King’s speech in New York set the tone for the last year of his life. Inside the church, he was hailed for his brave, outspoken stance against the war. Outside the church, he was roundly condemned – by the mainstream press, by other civil rights activists and, most decidedly, by President Lyndon Johnson.

This documentary traces the final year of King’s life. It was one of the most challenging and controversial chapters of the civil rights leader’s career, yet it has not been the focus of significant public attention. For many, the image of King is of a social and political leader at the height of his powers – especially the period up through 1965.But that's not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.

This program illuminates the profound personal, psychological and philosophical challenges King faced in his last year. In this time, King tried to gain support for his Poor People’s Campaign, fended off fierce critics inside and outside the civil rights movement, and endured an increasing sense of despair and isolation. King's Last March offers listeners a complex view of a man trying to push his philosophy of non-violence to a conclusion many people found more threatening than the dream he described on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial five years before his death.

The Children of Children Keep Coming

From WNPR | 51:01

Through story and song, author Russell Goings has adapted his epic poem “The Children of Children Keep Coming” into an hour-long spoken word performance that delineates and celebrates the too often unsung African American cultural history.

Goings_small Through story and song, author Russell Goings has adapted his epic poem “The Children of Children Keep Coming” into an hour-long spoken word performance that delineates and celebrates the too often unsung African American cultural history.  His inspiration comes from friendship of iconic collagist Romare Bearden and from the voices of the ancestors.

Infused with the improvisational feel of jazz, this program celebrates the soulful spirits of ancestors through Goings’ masterfully poetic prose.  Narratives of historical figures Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass and Phillis Wheatley intertwine with mythic characters Evalina, Banjo Pete and Black Tiny Shiny to tell the important story of the African American heroic journey.  

With introduction by acclaimed Tony Award winning Broadway actor Brian Stokes Mitchell, the radio adaptation of “The Children” will be available for broadcast on public radio stations nationwide starting Black History Month, February 2010.  It is the first part of a yearlong audio and lecture series exploring African-American narratives through art and storytelling, in partnership with WNPR – Connecticut Public Radio and Fairfield University.


Russell Goings graduated with honors from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1959.  He briefly played professional football, and then headed to Wall Street to become the first African-American brokerage manager for a New York Stock Exchange member firm.  Later, he became the first black owner of an investment firm, which managed the assets of some of the world’s largest companies along with many legendary athletes and entertainers.  He was founder of Essence Magazine and became the chairman of the Studio Museum in Harlem.  Goings is an inductee into the Wall Street Hall of Fame.  He spent thirteen years writing the “Children”, studying under Pulitzer Prize nominee and Fairfield University poetry professor Kim Bridgford. 

Martin Luther King, Jr (A Musical Remembrance)

From Howard Burchette | Part of the Jazz Time series | 01:05:59

This one hour musical program commemorates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The play-list consists of some of the world's greatest Jazz musicians who composed and performed compositions to this great legend. Some of the music is rare and this would a splendid program to air on your radio station during the week of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.s birthday.

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Martin Luther King, Jr (A Musical Remembrance) contains performances buy some of the greatest Jazz legends of all time who honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr . The program includes Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Cecil Payne, Max Roach and others.

This will be a musical treat – air Martin Luther King, Jr (A Musical Remembrance)

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Happy Birthday Dr. King)

From Howard Burchette | Part of the Soul Roots series | 01:02:29

This one hour musical program commemorates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Some of the music is rare and this would a splendid program to air on your radio station during the week of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.s birthday.

Imageedit_3_4613936237_small

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Happy Birthday Dr. King) contains performances by some of the greatest music icons of all time who honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr . This play-list includes Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Stevie Wonder, The Staple Singers, Mahalia Jackson, Moms Mabley, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Solomon Burke, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Bobby Womack and others.

This will be a musical treat – air Martin Luther King, Jr. (Happy Birthday Dr. King)

Re:Defining Black History

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union: Season Four series | 53:23

During a month selected to celebrate “history,” we certainly are treated to a lot of the same familiar stories: the battles won for Civil Rights, the glory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, the hardships endured by slaves. And as important as those narratives are for us to collectively remember, many others get lost in trumpeting the same heroic tales. In this hour, State of the Re:Union zeroes in some of those alternate narratives, ones edited out of the mainstream imagining of Black History, deconstructing the popular perception of certain celebrated moments. From a more complicated understanding of the impact of the Civil Rights Act of ’64 on Jackson, Mississippi… to a city in Oklahoma still trying to figure out how to tell the history of one particular race riot… to one woman’s wrangling with her own personal racial history.

Screen_shot_2014-01-03_at_12 State of the Re:Union
Re:Defining Black History

Host: Al Letson
Producers: Tina Antolini and Delaney Hall

DESCRIPTION: During a month selected to celebrate “history,” we certainly are treated to a lot of the same familiar stories: the battles won for Civil Rights, the glory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, the hardships endured by slaves. And as important as those narratives are for us to collectively remember, many others get lost in trumpeting the same heroic tales. In this hour, State of the Re:Union zeroes in some of those alternate narratives, ones edited out of the mainstream imagining of Black History, deconstructing the popular perception of certain celebrated moments. From a more complicated understanding of the impact of the Civil Rights Act of ’64 on Jackson, Mississippi… to a city in Oklahoma still trying to figure out how to tell the history of one particular race riot… to one woman’s wrangling with her own personal racial history.

BILLBOARD (:59)
Incue: From PRX and WJCT
Outcue: But first, this news.

News Hole: 1:00-6:00 

SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: From WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida…
Outcue: When SOTRU continues.

A. Should It Be More Than 28 Days?

We open the hour with a conversation between Host Al Letson and Filmmaker Shukree Tilghman about whether the idea of Black History Month is still relevant.  Two years ago Shukree, wrote and directed documentary entitled "More then a Month" about whether one month is long enough—shouldn’t we expand the celebration of Black History to be year round? Al and Shukree discuss the movie, and whether black history month is antiquated or still necessary in what some people are labeling a “Post Racial” America. 

B. Recovering the History of the Riot 

At the Mayo Demonstration School in Tulsa, students learn about the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot -- one of the country’s most devastating incidents of racial violence -- in some surprising ways. This approach to teaching the Tulsa Race Riot isn’t true of all schools in the city. Tulsa has a long, fraught history when it comes to dealing with the legacy of the riot and many people would prefer to forget this dark chapter of the city's past. It wasn’t until 2001, eighty years after the riot, that the state released an official report of what happened. A park commemorating the event wasn’t completed until 2010. And race riot curriculum in the public schools has been so scattershot that the state senate passed a bill in 2012, mandating that it must be taught.

In this story, we explore what exactly happened in 1921, and how the history of the riot has been written and re-written over the years. We'll look into how the memory of the riot was lost for almost a generation, and meet some of the people who’ve fought to keep the history of the riot alive. In addition to spending time at the Mayo Demonstration School, we’ll speak with Scott Ellsworth, the foremost historian of the riot, who began uncovering the untold story of the event for his undergraduate thesis at age 20.

SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: I'm Al Letson and this is State of the Re:Union
Outcue: PRX-dot-ORG

A. Recovering the History of the Riot
(Completion of piece started in previous segment) 

B. Farish Street and the Flip Side of the Civil Rights Act of ‘64
July 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark legislation that desegregated commercial public spaces. While celebration of the integration that the Act prompted is certainly warranted, this story will explore the complexity of the aftermath of the legislation in one city: Jackson, Mississippi. 

Our story centers on Farish Street in Jackson, which, during its heyday in the early 20th century, was known as “Little Harlem.” It was a bustling entertainment district, home to clubs and bars like the Crystal Palace and the Alamo Theater, where the likes of Sammy Davis Jr., Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong performed. Beyond that, it was all the commercial center of black Jackson, with legal firms, doctors, banks, restaurants retail stores—all black-owned and patronized by black customers. During the early 1960s, Farish Street was also the hub of Civil Rights activists’ efforts in Jackson; it’s where Medgar Evers had his NAACP field office. 

One of those thriving Farish Street businesses—the one, in fact, just downstairs from Evers’ office-- was the Big Apple Inn. It was opened in the early 20th century by a Mexican immigrant who initially had a hot tamale cart on Farish Street, and branched out to selling pig ear sandwiches when he got a brick-and-mortar storefront. The Big Apple is still there today, now its fourth generation of ownership with proprietor Geno Lee, and is still doing a brisk business of “ears and smokes” (pig ear sandwiches and smoked sausage sandwiches). But nearly all of Farish Street around the Big Apple is dramatically changed. Once the heart of black Jackson, it’s now a ghost town of empty storefronts and vacant lots. What happened to Farish Street? 

Some in Jackson think the turn in Farish Street’s fortunes came with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As our partner in this story, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, reports Geno Lee believes that when integration was federally mandated, African Americans welcomed the opportunity to spend money on the white side of town. As an unintended consequence, however, black businesses suffered from neglect and many soon closed. “Desegregation was great for the black race,” Lee says. “But it was horrible for the black businessmen.” Other Jackson residents have echoed this sentiment, unanimously citing desegregation as the root cause of Farish Street’s decay.

SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union
Outcue: to bring them back together. (music tail)

A. Recruiting R&B for the Movement

Certain songs are forever linked to the Civil Rights Movement. “We Shall Overcome,” “Oh Freedom,” even spirituals like “This Little Light of Mine,” bring to mind images of the sit-ins, street protests, the 1968 March on Washington… This music has become iconic, a soundtrack to the era. But the music of the movement went far beyond those staples. It turns out folk songs and gospel music didn’t resonate with every audience the movement wanted to reach. If you’re going into a ghetto and want to connect with the young black people there in the 1960s, singing “If I Had a Hammer” would go over like a lead balloon. And so, alongside the familiar anthems, movement musicians started repurposing popular R&B songs, revising the lyrics to fit their anti-segregation message. One of the groups to do this was a gathering of some seminary students involved in the protests in Nashville in 1960 who called themselves the Nashville Quartet. There was a popular R&B song at the time called “You Better Leave My Kitten Alone,” predictably about love and jealousy. The Nashville Quartet switched up “kitten” for “segregation,” and suddenly had quite a pointed tune: “You better leave segregation alone/ because they [white folks] love segregation like a hound dog loves a bone.” They took the Ray Charles song “Moving On,” a ballad about progressing beyond a bad romance, and switched the relationship to a racial one. “Segregations’s been here from time to time / but we just ain’t gonna pay it no mind // IT’s moving on—It’s moving on—It’s moving… // Old Jim Crow’s moving on down the track / He’s got his bags and he won’t be back.”

Today, if you’re trying to reach a young audience with your message, you wouldn’t use old folks songs—you’d use hip hop. Civil Rights activists back in the day were just as savvy, using the sound of their generation to reel people in.

B. Becoming Multiracial
Damali Ayo built her career on being a professional black person. As she says, everything she did was always about being black. She traveled around the country giving talks called “You Can Fix Racism!” She spoke at MLK days and Black History Month events at colleges all around the country. As a visual artist, she did a show where she asked hardware store paint departments to match paint to her skin color. As a street performer she panhandled for reparations, asking white strangers to give her money, that she paid out to black people as they passed by. And then, a few years ago, she discovered that she was half-white. It radically changed the way she thought about herself, her work, and her place in the world.

C. Final Montage and Monologue In this final segment, we hear voices from the hour talking about the versions of history that we miss, and why it’s important to include them. 

Al wraps up the hour with a final monologue touching on the idea that this Greatest Hits version of African-American history implies that we’re finished, that the problems have been solved… when these alternate narratives reveal the work still to be done. 

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00 

Re:Defining Black History is available on PRX without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to January 31, 2017. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only. 

State of the Re:Union is presented by WJCT and distributed by PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. 

 

Blues & Beyond #289: Songs and Stories For MLK Day: "Blues In The Mississippi Night"

From WXPN | Part of the Blues & Beyond series | 59:00

Music and stories for MLK Day, including the secret session "Blues In The Mississippi Night"

Msnight_small In this hour of The Blues & Beyond, songs and stories that connect with the spirit of the Martin Luther King Day holiday. We'll hear from Sam Cooke, The Neville Brothers, and Johnny Copeland, as well as his daughter Shemekia Copeland, and from B. B. King, and others, including Big Bill Broonzy. We'll hear some of Broonzy's remarkable 1947 talking and singing session with Memphis Slim and John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, recorded by Alan Lomax, but not issued until many years later, and even then with their names initially disguised - because it just wasn't safe for them otherwise. The session is known as "Blues In The Mississippi Night," and I'll talk with Bob Riesman who wrote the breakthrough biography of Big Bill Broonzy in 2011 about it as well.

promo included: promo289

Peace Talks Radio: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Path To Nonviolence (59:00/54:00)

From Good Radio Shows, Inc. | Part of the Peace Talks Radio: Weekly Hour Long Episodes series | 59:01

Martin Luther King Jr.'s journey to a philosophy of nonviolence and his lasting legacy as a peace proponent is recalled in interviews with his daughter, the late Yolanda King, and one of King's top colleagues in the civil rights movement, Dr. Dorothy Cotton. This program is also available in a 29:00 version at PRX.

Yolandaking_small IMPORTANT: Please have your local announcer read the following script before and after this show. "The following (preceding) program, featuring an interview with Yolanda King, the daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr., was recorded in 2004. Yolanda King died, at the age of 51, May 15, 2007." PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Two women with very close ties to Martin Luther King Jr. reflect on how King developed into one of the great moral and political philosophers of the 20th century and how his philosophies might still guide the world through troubled times today. Dr. Dorothy Cotton was the highest ranking female in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded by Dr. King. From 1960 to 1972 Dr. Cotton was the educational director for SCLC and worked very closely with Dr. King. The late Yolanda King was the eldest daughter of Dr. King. She was an internationally known motivational speaker and actress whose personal mission in life was to inspire positive social change and world peace. Ms. King died in May of 2007 at the age of 51. Ms. King and Dr. Cotton were interviewed separately in 2004 by phone by show host Carol Boss. The entire program includes about 15 minutes of excerpts from talks by Dr. King, along with music by U2 ("Pride in The Name of Love") and 1960's recordings by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Freedom Singers. Newscast Compatible (but airing a newscast will pre-empt a compelling King speech clip). Program is split into two parts that can be run as separate half hours. The two 29 minute parts can stand alone and are separated by a minute long music bed. A 29:00 version of the program is also available on PRX: http://www.prx.org/piece/3124

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr- a Rewind series (Series)

Produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

A six part comprehensive series that explores the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's from CBC Radio archives program- Rewind.

Most recent piece in this series:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- The Christmas Message of Hope

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | Part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr- a Rewind series series | 54:58

Masssey-king-book_small Today, the fifth of six programs honouring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's the final lecture of Dr. King's Massey lectures- a series that aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in late 1967. This one is more a sermon than a lecture- it aired on Christmas Eve 1967.  Dr. King used the opportunity to spread his message of non- violence and reconciliation to a wider audience.

Dear Martin: Jazz Tributes to Martin Luther King Jr.

From WFIU | Part of the Night Lights Classic Jazz: Specials series | 59:04

Perfect for Black History Month (February)or MLK Day (January), Night Lights presents this one-hour program of jazz tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martinking_small "Dear Martin" is a program of jazz tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was a jazz fan, and eloquently expressed his admiration for the music in his opening remarks to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival. The program features music from Oliver Nelson's 1969 album Black, Brown and Beautiful; Nina Simone's performances of "Sunday in Savannah" and "Mississippi Goddam," from a concert taped just three days after King's death in 1968; Blue Mitchell's "March on Selma"; Duke Ellington's "King Fit De Battle of Alabam"; Mary Lou Williams' "Tell Him Not to Talk Too Long"; and two 1970 recordings from Louis Armstrong. Night Lights is available as a weekly program from WFIU Public Media. Contact: cboyce@indiana.edu for subscription information. Producer David Brent Johnson also maintains a widely read jazz blog at: http://nightlights.blogs.wfiu.org


Half-Hour + (30:00 - 48:59)

A March to Freedom: Martin Luther King

From Loyola Productions, Inc. | Part of the Kaleidoscope series | 44:36

On the anniversary of his birth, the life and work of the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His own voice and words make this a meaningful biography in sound.

161px-martin_luther_king_press_conference_01269u_edit_small

With recordings of King such as his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, Kaleidoscope remembers the profile of this influential American.


*See "Timing and Cues" for suggested edits, if any, for call letters, date/series info, etc.

*This program originated on analog tape using non-digital source material. Some tape hiss and record pops should be expected.


Half-Hour (24:00-30:00)

A Shortcut To The Mountaintop

From Peter Bochan | Part of the Shortcuts series | 29:27

A tribute to Martin Luther King Jr, featuring many of his most famous speeches mixed with music from Stevie Wonder, The Freedom Singers, Jimmy Cliff, James Taylor, Nina Simone, Bill Lee/Branford Marsalis, Moodswings, U2 and more.

Martin_luther_king__jr A tribute to Martin Luther King Jr, featuring many of his most famous speeches mixed with music from Stevie Wonder, The Freedom Singers, Jimmy Cliff, James Taylor, Nina Simone, Bill Lee/Branford Marsalis, Moodswings,U2 and more---

MLK: Three Landmark Speeches

From Good Radio Shows, Inc. | Part of the Peace Talks Radio: Weekly Half Hour Episodes series | 29:00

Three key speeches of American civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Martin Luther King Junior are excerpted and commented on by two leading King scholars.

King_small Peace Talks Radio producer Paul Ingles interviews two leading King scholars, asking each to pick speeches from those years to focus on.    You’ll hear from the late Dr. Vincent Harding, Professor of Religion and Social Transformation at Illiff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado and a personal friend and speech writing colleague of Dr. King in the 1960’s.  (Dr. Harding died in May of 2014 about 6 months after this interview)  Also mixed into our program, you’ll hear Dr. Clayborne Carson, who at Coretta Scott King’s request, has been directing the King Papers Project since 1985. Dr. Carson established the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute at Stanford University in 2005.  The speeches these scholars chose were… King’s last address, the night before his assassination in Memphis in April, 1968.  Also, the speech he made a year to the day before he was killed, called “Beyond Vietnam,” in which Dr. King came out publicly and explicitly in opposition to the Vietnam War. And from March of 1965, Dr. King’s remarks that he made at the conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery marches, considered a turning point in the struggle for Voting Rights and equality for African Americans.

A Dream Remembered?: Martin Luther King Jr and the Grassroots Civil Rights Movement

From Making Contact | Part of the Making Contact series | 29:00

Gary Younge, author of "The Speech" talks about Martin Luther King Junior's Dream and the story behind it.

Mlk_the_speech_bookcover_small On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th 1963, Martin Luther King Jr delivered one of the most famous speeches of all time. But it nearly didn't happen. On this special edition of Making Contact for MLK Day, Gary Younge, author of "The Speech" talks about Martin Luther King Junior's Dream and the story behind it. 

Special thanks to the New School for use of their recording.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Path To Nonviolence -29:00 Version (Peace Talks Radio Series)

From Good Radio Shows, Inc. | Part of the Peace Talks Radio: Weekly Half Hour Episodes series | 29:01

Martin Luther King Jr.'s journey to a philosophy of nonviolence and his lasting legacy as a peace proponent is recalled in interviews with his daughter, Yolanda King, and one of King's top colleagues in the civil rights movement, Dr. Dorothy Cotton. This program is also available in a 59:00 version available at PRX.

Yolandaking_small IMPORTANT: Please have your local announcer read the following script before and after this show. "The following (preceding) program, featuring an interview with Yolanda King, the daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr., was recorded in 2004. Yolanda King died, at the age of 51, May 15, 2007." PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Two women with very close ties to Martin Luther King Jr. reflect on how King developed into one of the great moral and political philosophers of the 20th century and how his philosophies might still guide the world through troubled times today. Dr. Dorothy Cotton was the highest ranking female in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded by Dr. King. From 1960 to 1972 Dr. Cotton was the educational director for SCLC and worked very closely with Dr. King. The late Yolanda King was the eldest daughter of Dr. King. She was an internationally known motivational speaker and actress whose personal mission in life was to inspire positive social change and world peace. Ms. King died in May of 2007 at the age of 51. Ms. King and Dr. Cotton were interviewed separately in 2004 by phone by show host Carol Boss.  A newscast compatible 59 minute version of this program is available at PRX: http://www.prx.org/piece/3123 Promos for this program are also contained at the site for the 59:00 version.

Martin Luther King Jr. Massey Lectures (Series)

Produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

In November 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the Massey lectures on CBC Radio. The Masseys are a prestigious annual broadcast in which a noted Canadian or international scholar gives a weeklong series of lectures on a political, cultural or philisophical topic. King's title was "Conscience for Change."

Most recent piece in this series:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Massey Lectures #5

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | Part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Massey Lectures series | 29:26

Mlk_small In November 1967 Martin Luther King delivered the Massey lectures on CBC Radio. The Masseys are a prestigious annual broadcast in which a noted Canadian or international scholar gives a weeklong series of lectures on a political, cultural or philisophical topic. King's title was "Conscience for Change." In the lectures, he talked about race relations, the war in Vietnam, youth and social action and non-violence as a tactic for social change.


Cutaways (5:00-8:59)

James Brown Saves Boston

From Michael May | 09:16

On April 5, 1968, the country was reeling from the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the night before. Riots had broken out in several cities. In Boston, James Brown was scheduled to play to a sold-out crowd at the 14,000-seat Boston Gardens. It had the potential to be a flash point for rioting right in the heart of downtown Boston.

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On April 5, 1968, the country was reeling from the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the night before. Riots had broken out in several cities, and many more were teetering on the edge of chaos.

In Boston, James Brown was scheduled to play to a sold-out crowd at the 14,000-seat Boston Gardens. It had the potential to be a flash point for rioting right in the heart of downtown Boston.

Music journalist Tom Vickers, 18-years-old at the time, was one of the few white people with a ticket to the concert that night. He grew up in Boston, and was a huge fan of R&B music. He was well aware how much tension there was between whites and blacks in the city.

For the most part, whites stayed in south Boston and blacks stayed in a neighborhood called Roxbury. "If you were black and found on the streets of Southie," he remembers, "you were lucky to make it home alive. And frankly, the inverse was true in Roxbury. If you were white and walking the streets there, you could feel the danger. It was palpable."

The tension had been escalating in the mid-60s as the city began to desegregate its public schools. The mayoral race in 1967 pitted a liberal reformer, Kevin White, against Louise Day Hicks, an opponent of desegregation. Hicks ran under the evasive slogan "You know where I stand." White won the race by less than 12,000 votes.

So Boston's race relations where already on a short fuse when the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot and killed on April 4. John "Jabo" Starks, the drummer in James Brown's band, was headed to Boston when he heard the news. "That was such a tragedy," says Starks. "It was sad, and it was shameful. It was like I was drained. You try to better yourself, and then this happens."

Riots broke out across the country, and some feared Boston would be next. Vickers remembers there was some rioting in Roxbury Friday night, but it was quickly stopped -- "yet there was ongoing fear that there would be massive rioting," he says. "Whites were worried that the African American community would spread to other neighborhoods in Boston and just tear up the place."

In fact, city leaders were terrified that the James Brown concert could bring the violence right into the heart of downtown. Mayor Kevin White and Boston's first black city council member, Thomas Atkins, debated whether to cancel the concert. In a forthcoming VH1 documentary about that night, White says: "His concert -- we thought it could bring as many as 20,000 black people, young people, into the city. It just had too much emotion in it. That would be a problem."

Council member Atkins had worse fears. "I said, 'Kevin, you are doing exactly the wrong thing,'" Atkins remembers. "If the black community hears that the city stopped James Brown from performing, all hell will break loose."

The city had only a few hours to find a compromise.

Meanwhile, Vickers went to a somber memorial for King that afternoon. After, he went to the Boston Gardens and asked a policeman if the show was still going to happen. "He said, 'Yeah, it's going to happen, but if I were you, I would turn in your tickets and get a refund,'" says Vickers. "And I said, 'Why would I want to do that?' And he said, 'It's going to be edgy here. You should return your tickets. Here's the good news, they are going to broadcast the entire show on WGBH.'"

The mayor held a press conference to encourage people to stay home and watch the concert. Vickers cashed in his tickets at the box office, as did thousands of others.

That night, around 9 p.m., Brown walked on stage at the Boston Gardens -- and the mayor was by his side. White addressed the crowd of around 2,000 and a row of television cameras. "I'm here tonight, like all of you, to listen to James," White told the crowd. "But I'm also here to ask for your all help. I'm here to ask you to stay with me as your mayor, and make Dr. King's dreams a reality in Boston.

"This is our city, and our future is in our hands -- today, tomorrow and the days that follow. So all I ask you tonight is this: is look each at other, and pledge that no matter what any other community might do, here in Boston, we will honor Dr. King's legacy in peace."

And with that, Brown, dressed in all black, grabs the microphone and takes over. Starks was on the drums. He said that as soon as he dug into the groove the intense sadness he was feeling lifted. "I love to play," he says, "because any problems are vented. I don't hear, see, think of anything, because I'm playing that music. It's a relief for me."

Vickers and his family crowded around the TV and watched in amazement. "James Brown always gave his all," he says. "But that night, there was an emotional edge to it. He seemed totally present, in the moment, and giving 110 percent."

Then, just as James Brown donned his golden cape, a young man jumped on stage. And in an instant, a white police officer rushed in and threw the man back into the audience. It looked like the beginning of a riot -- a riot that the entire city of Boston would witness on live television. The band stopped playing.

"They were just venting anger," says Jabo Starks. "They just wanted to be close to him, but I know when police started to throw them off stage, it became touchy."

Brown told the police officers to leave and shook hands with another teenager who had jumped on stage. Suddenly fans swarmed the singer. "It was almost at a point where something bad was going to happen," says Starks. "And he said 'Let me talk to them.' He had that power."

Within minutes, the Godfather of Soul cleared the stage with these words: "You're making me look bad... You're not being fair to yourself or your own race. I asked the police to step back, because I figured I could get some respect from my own people. It doesn't make sense. Now, are we together or we ain't? Hit the thing, man... one-two-three." And the band kicked back in.

That night, there was rioting in more than 100 U.S. cities. Dozens of people were killed. Huge areas of Newark, N.J., Detroit and Washington, D.C., went up in flames. But Boston remained quiet.

Remembering "I Have a Dream"

From Rebecca Sheir | 05:41

We know what history books say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech - but what about the people who were there?

_01 Rebecca Sheir talks with Washington, D.C., locals -- including activist/politician/professor Julian Bond -- about how it felt watching Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, live, at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

In the Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. in Europe

From Phillip Martin | Part of the Standing Up To Hate in Europe series | 07:20

A German activist describes how MLK influenced her life and her life-long struggle against right-wing extremism.

Swastika_small Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europeans have seen a steady resurgence of Neo-Nazi and anti-immigrant activities. While a great deal of attention has been focused on racist "skinheads", particularly in the eastern half of Germany, Sweden, and in Russia, far less attention has been paid to a loosely defined grass-roots, ANTI-racism Movement that has surfaced across the continent. Activists are working largely unseen to counter the proponents of hate. It is their story that I report in this four-part series titled "Standing Up To Hate in Europe". Part One: In the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. a German activist describes how MLK influenced her life and her life-long struggle against right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism. 7 min, 19 sec. Phillip Martin, Reporter.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Secret Advisor

From WNYC | 07:38

The names of many of Reverend Martin Luther King Junior’s associates are well known: Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young. But one of his most important confidants, a Jewish business man from New York named Stanley Levison, has remained largely hidden from public view. From what we know about him, Levison probably would have wanted it that way.

Default-piece-image-0 The names of many of Reverend Martin Luther King Junior’s associates are well known: Harry Belafonte, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young. But one of his most important confidants, a Jewish business man from New York named Stanley Levison, has remained largely hidden from public view. From what we know about him, Levison probably would have wanted it that way.


Drop-Ins (2:00-4:59)

Mary McAnally

From This Land Press | Part of the The Sound of Our Land series | 04:06

Mary McAnally shares the story of how she organized the only Freedom Bus from Oklahoma during the Civil Rights Movement. She went with 40 University of Tulsa students and participated in sit-ins in Montgomery, Ala. She was arrested alongside Dr. Martin Luther King for her civil disobedience. As King told her, "You might get arrested, but you'll be in good company."

Sitting_in_3_small Mary McAnally shares the story of how she organized the only Freedom Bus from Oklahoma during the Civil Rights Movement. She went with 40 University of Tulsa students and participated in sit-ins in Montgomery, Ala. She was arrested alongside Dr. Martin Luther King for her civil disobedience. As King told her, "You might get arrested, but you'll be in good company."

Martin Luther King remembered in Bimini, Bahamas

From Jake Warga | 03:25

Just 50 miles from the coast of Florida in the Bahamas is the tiny island of Bimini. Home of the fabled fountain of youth, it was once known for it’s rum-running during American prohibition. Now Bimini is a tourist destination, a popular spot for fishing and diving. One local islander, a boat-builder and fishing guide took many notable folks out on the water through the years, including Dr. King. Ansil Saunders shares his reflections on dining with King and the boat trips he took him on.

111017_028_small Just 50 miles from the coast of Florida in the Bahamas is the tiny island of Bimini. Home of the fabled fountain of youth, it was once known for it’s rum-running during American prohibition. Now Bimini is a tourist destination, a popular spot for fishing and diving. One local islander, a boat-builder and fishing guide took many notable folks out on the water through the years, including Dr. King. Ansil Saunders shares his reflections on dining with King and the boat trips he took him on.

Questions for Martin Luther King, Jr.

From David Green | 02:20

If given the chance to interview Dr. King, this is what a group of third graders would have asked him.

Mlk_small After learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. - and about how to be good radio reporters and interviewers -  a class of Chicago-area third graders (and one visiting student from South Korea) wrote down the most important questions they would have asked Dr. King if they could have interviewed him. The resulting audio collage captures the curiosity, empathy, wisdom and innocence of eight and nine-year old children.

Third Grade Audio
"See" the world through third grade ears



MLK Was a Working-Class Hero

From Dick Meister | 03:11

A commentary noting that Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the staunchest and most effective supporters working Americans have ever had.

Default-piece-image-1 There are, of course, many reasons for celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day . But we shouldn't forget that one of the most important reasons is Dr. King's championing of union rights, which he considered to be one of the most important of civil rights. Dr, King was assassinated, remember, while helping lead the struggle for union recognition by sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. His death led directly to the strikers' victory in the face of what had been overwhelming odds and to similar victories throughout the South and elsewhere.

King Stories: (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

From Dorothy Green | 54:26

King Stories is a one hour documentary of captivating stories told by close friends and associates of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Host Julian Bond, along with insiders—Ralph Abernathy, David Garrow, Dick Gregory, Mark Lane and Larry Williams—share rarely documented stories about the personal and private sides of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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King Stories  is a one hour documentary of captivating stories told by close friends and associates of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Host Julian Bond, along with insiders—Ralph Abernathy, David Garrow, Dick Gregory, Mark Lane and Larry Williams—share rarely documented stories about the personal and private sides of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Notably one of the most significant Americans in the 20th Century, Dr. King is an iconic figure. But who was the man? King Stories offers snapshots into his personality and character. We begin with Dr. King’s precocious teenage years followed by close-ups of behind the scenes accounts of day-to-day life on the road marching and protesting for American black civil rights. We hear a moving account of Dr. King’s last conversation just minutes before he was struck down by a sniper’s bullet, and the disclosures of the investigation into his murder.