Martin Luther King Calls All to be Maladjusted

In January, I told you about the newly found audio of a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. at Bethel College that had been thought lost forever. At the time, the college didn’t have legal permission to release the audio, but this week I learned that the King family has given Bethel College the limited permission to publish the speech for 31 days only.

King gave this speech on January 21, 1960. As you listen, remember that he spoke these words just ten days before The Greensboro Four began the lunch counter sit-in movement that would see Dr. King himself arrested in October.

Here, then, is that speech, in astonishingly well-restored audio. I’ve included a link to the official transcription as well.

[wpaudio url=”http:///blog.mattalgren.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/martin-luther-king-bethel-college-lost-speech.mp3″ text=”Lost Martin Luther King Speech”]

I’m struck by how sadly relevant much of Dr. King’s speech still is, especially in relation to the LGBT civil rights movement. We still have much to learn from this American prophet. There are so many quotes I could pull to make this point, but I’ll limit myself to one short paragraph and urge you to listen to the entire speech and Q&A session.

[T]here are some things in our world and in our social system to which I’m proud to be maladjusted. I call upon you to be maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to the evils of segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to become adjusted to the madness of militarism and the self-defeating effects of physical violence. I call upon men and women all over our nation and over the world for that matter to be maladjusted. For you see, it may well be that the salvation of our world lies in the hands of the maladjusted.

Be maladjusted.
Be maladjusted.
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2 thoughts on “Martin Luther King Calls All to be Maladjusted

  1. I don't even know what to say. Matt, you did it again. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.So much of his speech applies to current day. I was especially struck by his criticism of folks who misinterpreted biblical passages to rationalize racial segregation. Sure sounds familiar to me. The anti-gay bigots are using the same playbook today. It's sad that the ignorant masses continue to fall for it.

  2. I don't even know what to say. Matt, you did it again. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.So much of his speech applies to current day. I was especially struck by his criticism of folks who misinterpreted biblical passages to rationalize racial segregation. Sure sounds familiar to me. The anti-gay bigots are using the same playbook today. It's sad that the ignorant masses continue to fall for it.

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