New Martin Luther King audio found

Martin Luther King

A U.S. man says he has discovered the audio tape of an interview with civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that was never published, in which King calls the movement "one of the greatest epics of our heritage.''

Stephon Tull says he recently found the nearly pristine reel-to-reel recording marked "Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960.'' in dusty boxes in his father's attic in Tennessee. His father interviewed King in 1960 for a never-written memoir.

The tape captures King talking about the importance of the civil rights movement, his definition of non-violence and how a recent trip to Africa informed his views. New York collector Keya Morgan authenticated the tape and is arranging a private sale this month.

Many recordings of King are known to exist. But one historian said the interview is unusual because there's little audio of King discussing his activities in Africa, while two of King's contemporaries said it's exciting to hear a little-known recording of their friend for the first time.

Tull wasn't sure what he had found until he borrowed a friend's reel-to-reel player and listened.

"No words can describe. I couldn't believe it,'' he told The Associated Press this week in a phone interview. "I found a lost part of history.''

Tull said his father, an insurance salesman, had planned to write a book about the racism he encountered growing up and later as an adult. He said his dad interviewed King when he visited the city but never completed the book. Tull's father is now in his early 80s and under hospice care.

The interview was made four years before the Civil Rights Act became law, three years before King's famous "I Have a Dream'' speech and eight years before his assassination. At one point in the interview, King predicts the impact of the civil rights movement.

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