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.
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.
Along with the 50 participants, this project was made in collaboration with all the following organisations and groups:
Alex Charrington, Bensham Grove, CBI North East, 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