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Locating Martin Luther King Jr. speeches – audio and text


In honor of the upcoming holiday, I’ve compiled some different ways to access some of MLK’s influential speeches.

If you’re interested in reading some of King’s speeches online, the King Center, which hosts the King Papers, has many of King’s speeches sorted chronologically, providing mp3 and written versions. Plain written copies of some of King’s more important speeches can also be found here. If you’re particularly interested in audio files, the Pacifica Radio Archives has a collection of speeches written by King along with a number of related recordings of related rallies, speeches, and readings available to order.

And, of course, Amazon.com has an assortment of CD and DVD versions of King audio.

For those interested in reading the speeches (as opposed to listening or viewing) I strongly recommend picking up a copy of A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., which gives you both actual text and background information (and happens to be on sale). If you’re interested in developing a solid background on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole (1950s-1960s), I also suggest the Civil Rights Chronicle (The African-American Struggle For Freedom). John Lewis’ Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement is another great source (also on sale) and offers a slightly different perspective of the movement.

Although MLK’s I Have A Dream speech is easily his most recognized work, I also suggest looking into his Letter From Birmingham Jail, which is arguably as influential. Both of these should be available on each of the provided websites in one form or another.

Editor’s addendum: My favorite King Speech is Why I Am Against the War in Vietnam—Matthew Lasar


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4 Responses to Locating Martin Luther King Jr. speeches – audio and text

  1. Jeffrey Pillow January 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    A Testament of Hope–great book. I bought this book ten years ago when I was 18-years-old. Ten years later, I love it just the same. Enjoyed the blog.

  2. Helen Yamamoto January 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Thank you! I bought it back in high school, and it’s still definitely a personal favorite.

  3. alex valdez January 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    I heard one of MLK’s speeches today about two apostles, I believe Timothy and Mark and how both wanted to be first, and how we all want to be first. Does anyone have a web site where I can find this speech.

  4. Helen Yamamoto January 19, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    Do you remember anything else from the speech? Maybe a quote?

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