April 30, 2017

35 Speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr. on Audio & Video

In recent years many of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches have been made available for free on audio & video from The King Institute at Stanford and The King Center in Atlanta. In this post we’ll feature 35 prominent speeches and sermons that Dr. King delivered in his lifetime that are available to listen to for free on audio & video.

You can browse all of the speeches and sermons of Dr. King that we feature on his author page, along with some audio books of his speeches and some interviews he did:

35 Free Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Audio & Video

We’ll start off by featuring some of Dr. King’s most famous speeches that we’ve featured in the past:

I Have a Dream Speech (August 28th, 1963)

Delivered on August 28th, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., King’s passionate call for justice and equality was the battle cry for the Civil Rights Movement in America. The 17-minute speech called for an end to racism in the United States during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was a defining moment of the Civil Rights Movement.

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop Speech (April 3rd, 1968)

On April 4th, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. The night before he was assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his prophetic “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. In this stirring speech Dr. King looks back on his life and is thankful for all the positive changes in civil rights that occurred in his lifetime, and he is grateful to have lived in the second half of the 20th century when masses of people all over the world were standing up for freedom and human rights.

Letter from Birmingham Jail: Dramatic Reading (April 16, 1963)

Watch a free dramatized version of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Written 40 years ago on April 16, 1963, Dr. King wrote this while in jail in response to a statement by 8 white clergymen who argued that the battle against segregation should be fought in the courts, and not in the streets. In his letter, Dr. King argues for nonviolent direct action in response to unjust laws. The letter contains many great quotes including “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and “Justice too long delayed is justice denied”. This special 1-hour video is a recording from the University of Texas at Austin filmed in an old Georgetown, Texas, jail sitting in for Birmingham in 1963, with actor Corey Jones playing Dr. King.

Acceptance Speech at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony (December 10, 1964)

Listen to this brief yet powerful speech that Dr. King delivered upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. In the speech Dr. King talks of the ongoing “creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice” in the United States which by that time had led to the passage of the Civil Rights Bill. And King speaks of his hope that “mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed and join together in brotherhood.”

A Knock at Midnight Sermon (June 11, 1967)

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “A Knock at Midnight” sermon was delivered on June 11, 1967. It is one of his most famous sermons where he relates the parable Jesus told of a man who knocks at midnight for three loaves of bread. Dr. King extends the meaning of “midnight” to regard his time in 1967 as midnight in the social order, the psychological order, and the spiritual order. He encourages the church to offer “bread” to those in need both in a real sense and in a spiritual sense. It’s a powerful sermon delivered 50 years ago, but still very relevant today. It is available on streaming audio from the King Institute and on streaming video from YouTube.

The Drum Major Instinct Sermon (February 4, 1968)

Listen to this inspiring sermon from Martin Luther King, Jr. In this speech, delivered in the year he was assassinated, Dr. King looks back on his life and hopes he will be remembered as a “Drum Major for Justice”. King sees the importance in the “drum major instinct” that drives us to lead and be recognized, but points out through Christ’s teachings that the greatest leaders are those who serve others and put justice before their own gain.

Now we’ll give you a list all of the speeches including many new ones we’ve recently added to our LearnOutLoud.com Free Audio & Video Directory. The King Institute offers text and streaming audio of many of Dr. King’s most famous speeches. They are available through a Flash player on their site so if you’re on an iPhone or iPad the flash player won’t show up. But no need to worry we’ve also embedded video of all of these speeches from YouTube. Also The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change has uploaded many of Dr. King’s speeches to its YouTube channel in the past year and we’ve now added many of these to our site.

Here they all are in order of when they were delivered:

Rediscovering Lost Values (February 28, 1954)

Paul’s Letter to American Christians (November 11, 1956)

Birth of a New Nation (April 7, 1957)

Give Us the Ballot (May 17, 1957)

Loving Your Enemies (November 17, 1957)

Letter from Birmingham Jail: Dramatic Reading (April 16, 1963)

Speech at the Great March on Detroit (June 23, 1963)

I Have a Dream (August 28th, 1963)

Eulogy for the Martyred Children (September 18, 1963)

Acceptance Speech at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony (December 10, 1964)

The Quest for Peace and Justice: 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture (December 11, 1964)

How Long, Not Long: Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March (March 25, 1965)

Creative Maladjustment (April 27, 1965)

The American Dream (July 4, 1965)

Free at Last (February 10, 1966)

Guidelines for a Constructive Church (June 5, 1966)

The Casualties of the War in Vietnam (February 25, 1967)

Beyond Vietnam (April 4, 1967)

The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life (April 9, 1967)

A Knock at Midnight (June 11, 1967)

Where Do We Go from Here? (August 16, 1967)

Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool (August 27, 1967)

The Three Evils of Society (August 31, 1967)

What is Your Life’s Blueprint? (October 26, 1967)

The Drum Major Instinct (February 4, 1968)

Unfulfilled Dreams (March 3, 1968)

The Other America (March 14, 1968)

Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution (March 31, 1968)

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop (April 3, 1968)

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center is also featuring the 1967 CBC Massey Lectures that Dr. King delivered on their YouTube channel:

Conscience for Change: The 1967 CBC Massey Lectures

1. Impasse in Race Relations

2. Conscience and the Vietnam War

3. Youth and Social Action

4. Nonviolence and Social Change

5. A Christmas Sermon on Peace (December 24, 1967)

We do feature a number of other audio & video titles from Dr. King on his author page. Check them all out here:

Over 50 Martin Luther King, Jr. Audio & Video Titles

And for our comprehensive collection of audio & video resources about Dr. King check out:

MLK Out Loud Audio & Video Resources