Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most significant figures in the American Civil Rights movement, and his legacy continues to influence modern day social justice movements fighting for equality in an unequal world. Known best for his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King’s life is well documented through both the written and spoken word, with dozens of hours of speeches and interviews compiled by historians and researchers throughout the decades to preserve the work of one of the most important people in recent American history. What follows are exceptional oral history projects related to Martin Luther King Jr.
A selection of recorded oral history interviews chronicling African-American life during the age of legal segregation in the American South, from the 1890s to the 1950s.
The recordings of former enslaved Americans in Voices Remembering Slavery.
The Joel Buchanan Archive of African American Oral History contains over 700 oral history interviews with African American elders.
The Black Power Archives Oral History Project is a collection of oral histories documenting the experiences of Black Power activists in Los Angeles.
This archive collects the critical speeches of Malcolm X from throughout his career. They are presented as simple, downloadable MP3 files that can be integrated into online or in-class presentations.
Many of these collections contain accounts that contextualize Dr. King’s work in the civil rights movement of the time by detailing historical events that either impacted his work or that he influenced himself. While no archive is complete on its own, together they paint a detailed picture of Dr. King’s legacy and are available to anyone who wishes to learn.