May 2017 | Nate Pedersen

Audio Recording of Martin Luther King's Final Staff Meeting Heading to Auction


A previously unknown audio recording of Dr. Martin Luther King's last full staff meeting before his assassination was recently discovered and is coming up for auction on May 13th at Heritage in Dallas. The recording includes King's usual impassionaed oratory, with elements of Biblical teachings and sports analogies. This unique recording is the first of its kind to come to auction in recent memory.

In the tape recording, King addresses his Southern Christian Leadership Conference staff at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on January 17, 1968, four months before his assassination. The tape runs for just under an hour and is expected to fetch $10,000 or more at auction.

The tape was owned by C. Clarence Mayfield, a Savannah-based lawyer who represented the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the NAACP until his death in 1996.

"The talk is a combination of a sermon, pep talk and personal reflection, delivered in King's moving and inspirational style," said Don Ackerman, an Americana expert and consignment director at Heritage Auctions in a press statement. "Dr. King's speech is clear as a bell and gives one the impression of being right there in the room."

[Image courtesy Heritage Auctions]