University Unearths Long-Lost MLK Speech Recording (AUDIO)

January 19, 2015 1:11 p.m.

Staff at the University of California-Los Angeles have discovered the recording of a 1965 speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the university announced this weekend.

The recording has been long forgotten, the university said, until an archivist noticed recently that King had been listed as a campus speaker on April 27, 1965. The archivist then searched through the university’s storage rooms until he came across the recording in a cabinet that had been blocked from view in subsequent years.

King gave the speech at UCLA about a month after the civil rights march in Selma, as King and other civil rights leaders were pushing for the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

UCLA experts characterized his remarks as the “stump speech” that King was giving during the campaign.

“When people are walking the streets hungry and they have no jobs, and they see life as a long and desolate corridor with no exit sign, they become bitter,” King said, though he ended with hope: “Yes, we shall overcome, and I have faith in the future because I know somehow that, although the arc of the universe is long, it bends toward justice.”

The full recording is below.

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