A lost Martin Luther King speech from 1967 has been discovered in an old recording that also included Ku Klux Klan members calling for the civil rights leader to be shot.
The speech was found by the children of a photographer and journalist who hid a tape recorder under a Klan robe to infiltrate a white supremacist rally.
Eugene B. Sloane captured a Klan leader calling for King to be killed – less than a year before he was shot dead on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee.
Sloane was a civil rights journalist from The State newspaper in South Carolina when he documented the KKK meeting on July 30, 1967.
King was due to speak in Charleston the following day, when Sloane recorded a Klan leader warning of black men raping little white girls, Confederate monuments, crowd sizes and the liberal news media causing ‘n***** riots’.
During the Long Hot Summer of 1967 as race riots gripped cities across the US, Dr King was in the state to talk about his Poor People’s Campaign and his ‘Freedom Budget’.
His 45-minute speech on a basic universal income, housing, education reform and jobs was discovered in Sloane’s closet by his daughters.
It was thought the University of South Carolina’s African American history collection was the only institution that managed to retain a short excerpt of the speech.
Sloane reportedly strapped his tape recorder to his waist under a Klan robe, donned a hood and recorded the entire meeting on a Sony reel-to-reel, according to The Root.
The unnamed Klan leader told the crowd: ‘You see what happening over here tonight and tomorrow [sic]. This great man Christian, Martin Luther C***. He’s…I’ll betcha they’ll say tomorrow that he has 8,000 n******, 8,000 n******.
‘Now them n****** know all about the devil. Now this might be the last time that Martin Luther C*** ever comes to Charleston.
‘He’s to go to Charleston, he’s banished to going to Kingstree, he can’t go to Albany. He come for one purpose [sic], for the money. He come for the money.
‘That’s what he come for and to sew his poisonous seeds. For God help that n******. He ought to be shot [*applause and horns sound from the crowd*].’
That year riots broke out across America, in Plainfield, New Jersey, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Detroit, and Milwaukee.