With those words, Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began the baccalaureate address on the campus of Keuka College on June 16, 1963. Those words can now be heard for the first time in 55 years. Long thought lost to the ages, a reel-to-reel recording of this historic address was recently returned to Keuka College by a former employee. The approximately 35-minute speech has now been digitally transferred and will be played for the public at a listening event on campus during Black History Month. The speech, which centers on King’s famous sermon “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” came amid a tumultuous period in the Civil Rights movement.
And fellow Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers had been assassinated just days prior to the address. Indeed, King came to Keuka Park directly from the June 15 Evers funeral in Jackson, Mississippi. He makes note of the event during his speech, after intoning the words of the Civil Rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome”:
The public broadcast, which is to include a round table discussion and reception, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the College’s Norton Chapel. It will be free and open to the public.
See more photos of Dr. King’s 1963 visit that were provided by Keuka College below: