The Late Movies: Great Speeches by MLK


Today is Martin Luther King day, one of only four United States federal holidays that commemorate an individual person. Undoubtedly one of the great orators of his time, many of his speeches are available on YouTube, and I thought I'd share some of them here.

Famously and intensely opposed to the war in Vietnam, King spoke out against it powerfully on many occasions. This clip takes bits from several of his anti-war speeches.

I Have A Dream
Certainly his most famous speech, delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., August 28, 1963.

We Shall Overcome

Where Do We Go from Here?
Delivered at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, August 16th, 1967.

When the Constitution was written, a strange formula to determine taxes and representation declared that the Negro was 60 percent of a person. Today another curious formula seems to declare he is 50 percent of a person. Of the good things in life, the Negro has approximately one half those of whites. Of the bad things of life, he has twice those of whites. Thus half of all Negroes live in substandard housing. And Negroes have half the income of whites. When we view the negative experiences of life, the Negro has a double share. There are twice as many unemployed. The rate of infant mortality among Negroes is double that of whites and there are twice as many Negroes dying in Vietnam as whites in proportion to their size in the population ... This is where we are. Where do we go from here?

Santa Rita Prison Speech
Dr. King speaking at the prison where Joan Baez had been imprisoned for demonstrating, in which he eloquently defends his opposition to the war in Vietnam. "I'm sorry, sir, but you don't know me."

Dr. King discussing his philosophy of non-violence on a television talk show.

I've Been to the Mountaintop -- King's Last Speech
Inspirational and prophetic, delivered the night before his assassination in Memphis.

Walter Kronkite's report on the assassination.