Long-lost audio of MLK speech to be used in CCSD middle, high schools

Long-lost audio of MLK speech to be used in CCSD middle, high schools

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A long-lost audio recording of one of Martin Luther King Jr's speeches from 57 years ago has been found.

It's a speech from Dr. King's visit at a former Temple in Worcester, Mass.

On Thursday, community members and relatives of King's wife came together for a press conference.

The goal is to share the audio with younger generations.

This tape is being called a "historical gem."

It includes a speech from Dr. King and a question and answer session.

"We have come a long, long way but realism impels us that we have a long long way to go," said King in the speech.

The tape was found in a box inside the former Temple.

An educational consultant, Mark Epstein, who lives locally but is from Massachusetts heard the news about the tape and thought it would be a good learning tool for local students.

"We have the chance to impact the lives of thousands of students and those of adults as well," Epstein said.

Rep. Wendell Gilliard supports the idea.

"I listened to it twice," Gilliard said. "Believe me, that speech was just as timely back then as it is now because he talked about race relations. Back in 1961 he was talking about economic empowerment. He was talking about things that we're having problems with."

Corretta Scott King's cousin, Christine O. Jackson, was also present at the announcement along with her daughter.

She had a message for others.

"All people continue to commit themselves to the success and growth of the minority community," Jackson said.

During Black History Month, middle and high school students in the Charleston County School District will have the opportunity to listen to the audio recordings in their social studies courses if their teacher chooses to incorporate them.

"That isn't just about having a few words. It's about having serious engagement on serious topics so the problems we have socially in this country that are killing our society will improve," Epstein said.

You can listen to the audio of the speech at for Part 1 and Part 2 .

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