On February 6, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the New School in New York City. It was the first of 15 talks given by civil rights leaders that semester as part of the American Race Crisis Lecture Series. The King lecture was entitled “The Summer of Our Discontent.” The talk was later revised and expanded in King’s 1964 book Why We Can’t Wait.
The New School archives contain a tape of a question and answer period that followed Dr. King’s address but did not include a recording of the actual speech.
Recently, a reel-to-reel tape was found at the student radio station at Amherst College in Massachusetts that indicated it was Dr. King’s New School speech. Not wanting to risk damaging the tape by playing it, the college had the recording digitized. It turned out the reel had been accurately labeled.
The speech had been rebroadcast on the college radio station on December 8, 1964 as part of a weekly program of pre-recorded lectures, some given at Amherst College and some obtained through arrangements with other institutions. The King recording is one of 46 open reel audio tapes transferred to the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections by the radio station in 1989.
The recording has now been made available to the public. You may listen to the speech here. A transcript of the address can be read here.
Since 1968 about 2,200 American college students have been awarded Thomas J. Watson Fellowships. The program, begun by the founder of IBM, offers graduating college seniors at 49 leading colleges $25,000 to travel the world on independent study projects. This year it appears that three of the 40 Watson fellows are of African descent.
Elias Aba Milki
is a senior at Amherst College. Next year he will travel to South Africa, Brazil, and Uganda to conduct research on how artists have used hip-hop music as a holistic tool for improving healthcare, such as using music to raise AIDS awareness. Milki was born in New York but was raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He hopes to become a physician.
Jeanette Charles is a senior at Scripps College in California. Charles, of African-Latina descent, will spend the next year on her research project entitled “Afro-American Voices Through a History of People’s Literature.” She will travel to Venezuela, Peru, Nicaragua, Martinique, and Ecuador studying local poetry, literature, and oral histories of people of African descent in Latin America.
is a senior anthropology major at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He will use his Watson award to investigate cultural education in four metropolitan primary schools in Australia, Finland, South Africa, and India. Thomas, a native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, states that the four schools have established an educational philosophy that broadens their academic focus and each is renowned for capitalizing on its educational culture.