“A new sense of hope”: Martin Luther King, Jr. audio at the Miller Center

Thanks to the Miller Center’s Presidential Recordings Program, conversations between U.S. Presidents and prominent Civil Rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., are preserved online and are available for listening and perusal. Below, a few to commemorate Martin Luther King Day.

  • "We feel that the Birmingham situation is so serious that it threatens not only the life and stability of Birmingham and Alabama, but of our whole nation."—King to President John F. Kennedy, September 19, 1963, following the 16th St. Baptist Church Bombing
  • "I’m fearful that if something isn’t done to give a new sense of hope to people in that area—and they are poverty-stricken—that a full-scale race war can develop here, and I’m concerned about it, naturally, because I know that violence and a riot like we had the other day doesn’t help anything."—King to Johnson about the Watts riots and a nonviolent step towards equality, August 20, 1965