The secret we’ve been keeping for the past few months is out. We’ve been working with some super brave and fierce folks of all ages, races, sexes and backgrounds from across Newcastle, and with artist Jeremy Deller, to respeak the powerful, and still so frustratingly relevant, words of Martin Luther King back to the city where he originally spoke them.
On 13 November 1967 Martin Luther King made what was to be his final public speech outside of the US before his assassination, in Newcastle. In the address, he called for us to join him in the ongoing struggle against war, poverty and racism.
On, 13 November 2017, fifty years to the day, individuals recited parts of the speech around Newcastle, both live and over tannoy systems. Including bakers, barbers, lecturers, business leaders, school pupils, politicians, railway announcers – people of different ages, sexes, races, all echoing the powerful words of Dr King, that still have so much resonance, and relevance, today.
Here’s a list of just some of the places it happened:
Metro Radio Night Owls, Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Excelsior Academy, Metro stations, Pink Lane Bakery, Citizen’s Advice Newcastle, St Nicholas Hospital, CBI conference, West End Food Bank, Newcastle University, Newcastle Central Library, Gateshead Interchange, Newcastle Building Society, Eldon Square, Benwell charity shops, Hotspur Primary School, Clarks Shoes, Newcastle Central Station, George Scott Barbers, Heaton yoga class, The Forum café, Freeman Hospitial, Ernest café…
This intervention was produced with artist Jeremy Deller, who conceived the idea, as part of Freedom City 2017, a year-long, city-wide programme commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree from Newcastle University. Freedom City 2017 is a partnership between Newcastle University, Northern Roots and NewcastleGateshead Initiative, funded by an Ambition for Excellence award by Arts Council England.
And here is the (hopefully complete!) list of all the groups and organisations that made the project:
Bensham Grove, CBI North East, Charrington Editions, Office of Chi Onwurah MP, Citizens Advice Newcastle, Crisis Skylight Newcastle, Culture Kitchen, Excelsior Academy, The Forum Cafe, The Journey Cafe, Gateshead Council, George Scott Barbers Hair Mechanics, Hotspur Primary School, Kaleidscope Films, Launchpad, ReCoCo, Media Partnership Ltd, Mortal Fools, NE1 and the Street Rangers, New Writing North, Newcastle Building Society, Newcastle Central Station, Newcastle City Library, Newcastle University, Nexus, NGI, Night Owls on Metro Radio, People’s Kitchen, Pink Lane Bakery, Salon LRM, Samosa Sisters, Young Writer’s City