A Martin Luther King, Jr. tape was discovered by a Chattanooga, Tenn. man when he went searching through his attic. The interview is of great significance, as it holds detailed information about how the Civil Rights leader was influenced by his trips to the African continent.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. tape was unearthed by Stephon Tull, whose father interviewed the American icon for a memoir during the height of racism in the country.
The interview took place Dec. 21, 1960- the nonviolence movement came to a head that year, as students staged sit-ins at Woolworth's and other businesses, parks, and lunch counters across the country. King elaborated that the nonviolent method was a "moral" means to an end, and stemmed out of "love."
"I would ... say that it is a method which seeks to secure a moral end through moral means," King told Tull's father. "And it grows out of the whole concept of love, because if one is truly nonviolent that person has a loving spirit, he refuses to inflict injury upon the opponent because he loves the opponent."
"I am convinced that when the history books are written in future years, historians will have to record this movement as one of the greatest epics of our heritage," the Baptist preacher continued.
Although the memoir was never written- Tull's father had planned a book about the racism he saw in Chattanooga- experts have confirmed that the authentic audio gives "remarkable" insight into King's philosophy.
"It's clear that in this tape when he's talking … about Africa, he saw this as a global human rights movement that would inspire other organizations, other nations, other groups around the world," Raymond Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, told the Associated Press.
"That to me is what's remarkable about the tape," he added.
Nearly a month before the interview, King visited Africa, where he stressed the importance the continent's leaders placed on the movement.
"I had the opportunity to talk with most of the major leaders of the new independent countries of Africa, and also leaders in countries that are moving toward independence," he said. "And I think all of them agree that in the United States we must solve this problem of racial injustice if we expect to maintain our leadership in the world."
The tape, after being discovered, was played on a reel-to-reel player, and the interview is still very clear, according to reports. Tull plans to sell the audio tape, and New York broker and collector Keya Morgan is arranging the sale for later this month.
The audio recording is sure to be valuable, as it is a rare insight into King's trip to Africa.
"No words can describe. I couldn't believe it," Tull told AP. "I found … a lost part of history."