A few months ago, Stephon Tull was looking through his father’s attic in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he uncovered a rare and unusual treasure. In a box was a dusty old reel-to-reel audio tape recording labeled, “Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960.” After borrowing a reel-to-reel from a friend, Tull listened to the tape and was unsurprised to hear the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. coming through the speakers. Turns out, Tull discovered a piece of history: a lost interview with Martin Luther King, Jr. in a dusty Tennessee attic.
Turns out the interview is a double rare find. Not only is it an interview with one of America’s most famous civil rights activists and a true American hero, it’s also the only interview with Dr. King in which he talks, in detail, about his time spent in Africa. King met with African leaders, and discussed with the many newly-independent nations about their thoughts on America’s struggle for equality and its importance in world politics. The interview was one of many conducted by Tull’s father in preparation for a book on the civil rights struggle and his own experiences with racism; that book was never finished and the King recording went into the attic with the rest of the book’s notes and recordings.
“I would … say that it is a method which seeks to secure a moral end through moral means,” King says during the interview when asked to define nonviolence. ”And it grows out of the whole concept of love, because if one is truly nonviolent that person has a loving spirit, he refuses to inflict injury upon the opponent because he loves the opponent.”
The lost interview will be put up for sale in a private auction later this month via an unnamed New York auction house.
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