What Martin Luther King, Jr., Told Meet the Press in 1965 after the #Selma March - An Amazing Interview
Now that Ava Duvernay's much-nominated film has brought events from the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march back to public awareness, it may be worth noting that Dr. King appeared on Meet the Press the Sunday after the march. What follows is not an actor re-enacting the interview. It is the man himself, facing a seemingly hostile and even smug panel. What's worth our attention here is the way Dr. King responds. We know that Dr. King, who was born on this day in 1929, would not be alive much longer. Less than three more years. What does he say to NBC after the march is over? Even if you do not spend your present Sunday mornings watching news shows like Meet the Press, this broadcast from 50 years ago may be worth your time.
ON LOVE AND NONVIOLENCE
Perhaps the trouble with having made a famous speech every school child can quote is that we tend to think we know Dr. King when maybe we do not. We know about his dream. We've seen representations of his life in movies and on TV. We use the hard-won holiday if we can. But as with most people, there was a lot more to the man than our cliched memory will allow. Consider the following short interview about love and nonviolence. In it, he speaks of love as an organizing principle, which is strong and powerful. This is a different Dr. King from the one who could move millions with the sound of his own powerful voice. In this interview, everything in his manner is kind, gentle -- loving. Perhaps we still have a lot to learn from this man.
A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT
And finally, in a different voice, there is this moving sermon in which Dr. King tells of a threatening phone call he received at midnight during the Montgomery Boycott.
I like big books, and I cannot lie. My background includes talk radio, newspapers and TV news. I've hosted a morning-drive classical music program on the California coast and published nationally in Reader's Digest, the Christian Science Monitor, and Playboy. I've won awards for my journalism and my fiction. One of my essays even made it into an anthology for college English courses. For real? Yes, for real.
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