Listening to Martin Luther King Jr., half a century later

Check it out: The State Museum has posted the audio from a 1962 speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation at an event in NYC.

The audio of the speech was turned up recently during the State Museum's ongoing effort to digitize its huge collection of objects and artifacts, according to a NYSED press release. The audio is believed to be the only known recording of the speech. (Can you imagine pulling a reel of tape from a dusty box, popping it on a reel-to-reel machine, and then hearing that distinctive voice emanate from the speaker? What a find.)

There's a mini-site set up for the audio and related documents. Among the docs: a scan of the marked-up text up of King's script.

The State Museum has posted the audio as a YouTube video matched with that marked-up script. It's one thing to read the text, it's a whole other to actually hear King deliver the 26 minute speech with his famous cadence and intonation. And the script -- with its many additions, subtractions, and mark-ups -- adds another dimension.

It's really worth watching when you have a chance.

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