Rev. Martin Luther King during a press conference on Nov. 6 1964. Photo credit: Dick DeMarsico/World Telegram & Sun/Public Domain

The voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will ring out all day long over Southern California’s airwaves Monday, as KPFK-FM 90.7 broadcasts 10 speeches and other recordings to celebrate King’s birthday.

The recordings, which are owned by the Pacifica Radio Archives and housed in Southern California, represent the largest collection of speeches outside of the King Family Estate, station officials said Saturday.

“Pacifica Radio was in the streets recording Dr. King, even when he was public enemy No. 1,” said Mark Torres, director of the archives. “The network provided airtime for King from 1957 until his death in 1968. On Monday we will play these original source materials in their entirety for the first time.”

The broadcasts will run from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., on the following schedule:

— 6 a.m. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in London (Dec. 7, 1964). “Democracy Now!” with host Amy Goodman will feature this recent discovery of a speech King delivered while traveling on route to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

— 7 a.m. On the Power of Peaceful Persuasion (June 24, 1957). The oldest speech by King in the Archives collection, in which he lays out his philosophy of nonviolent resistance. Introduced by KPFK host Lila Garrett and former Congressman Alan Greyson.

— 8 a.m. The Civil Rights Movement and its Goals for the Future (April, 1967). Introduced by KPFK host Sonali Kolhatkar.

— 9 a.m. A replay of “Democracy Now!” from 6 a.m. featuring the 1964 speech in London.

— 10 a.m. The Dimensions of a Complete Life (January 1962); But If Not (Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, November 1967). This hour features two of King’s more philosophical speeches.

— 11 a.m. A two-hour music special celebrating King’s life, with excerpts from his speeches. KPFK’s signature music show, “The Global Village,” will be hosted by DJ Maya Jupiter with songs by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Harry Belafonte and more.

— 1 p.m. The Future of Integration (June 1961).

— 2 p.m. America’s Chief Moral Dilemma (UC Berkeley, May 17, 1967).

— 3 p.m. Domestic Urgencies vs. Military Costs (February, 1967). A pre-cursor to King’s celebrated anti-Vietnam War speech at Riverside Church in New York, which he delivered a couple of months later.

— 4 p.m. We Want to be Free (Los Angeles Freedom Rally, May 26, 1963). This speech, recorded by KPFK at L.A.’s old Wrigley Field, will be preceded by an analysis of King’s legendary 1967 Beyond Vietnam speech by KPFK host Jerry Quickley and journalist Robert Scheer.

— 5 p.m. Men and Women In the Arts Concerned with Vietnam: A Benefit for Martin Luther King Jr. (March 16, 1968). This event was recorded by KPFK at actor Marlon Brando’s house. It features Dr. King, along with an introduction by writer James Baldwin.

“This is the real deal, not some watered down MLK like you’ll see in TV ads,” KPFK interim program director Alan Minsky said. “This is the man’s own voice; inspiring to the downtrodden; dangerous as ever to entrenched, corrupt power; telling truths about American society that resonate as much today as 50 years ago.”

—City News Service


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