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Writing the Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Rest of My Memoir

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 7, 2015. 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Margaret Jacks Hall, Terrace Room
Meeting Description: 

In his recent memoir, Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Clayborne Carson recounts two episodes that have shaped his understanding of King. The first was seeing him from a distance delivering his historic "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The second was stitching together King's recollections of delivering the speech while preparing Carson's edition of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. After almost three decades of editing King's papers, Carson realized that he could now see the march both from his own perspective as a nineteen-year-old college student and from King's perspective as a thirty-four year old civil rights leader. Seeing himself through King's eyes gave Carson a better understanding of both of them.

About the speaker:

Clayborne Carson is a historian and founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. He is the author of In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s (1981), which won the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner award, as well as, most recently, Martin’s Dream (2014), a memoir tracing Carson’s development into an activist scholar. In 1985, Coretta Scott King selected Carson to edit and publish her husband's papers; since, Carson has edited seven volumes of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.