“I have a dream tonight. It is a dream rooted deeply in the American dream.”
Eight months before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C., he spoke these words to a crowd of 1,800 people in a Rocky Mount gymnasium on November 27, 1962.
It was a key moment in the course of King’s leadership against segregation and racial discrimination in the South, but one that has largely been forgotten. An old reel-to-reel recording of the speech has endured in the Rocky Mount public library, known to the town’s residents but hidden from the rest of the world.
Listen to a clip of that speech below: