Stephon Tull was simply poking through old boxes in his father’s attic in Chattanooga, TN when he came across an audio reel marked with a very familiar name–“Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960.”As far as I am concerned, there is only one Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so immediately, I would have been ready to contact someone, anyone to figure out what I should do with the recording.
According to the Huffington Post, Tull wasn’t 100% sure of the audio reel’s authenticity, so he borrowed the proper equipment from a friend so that he could listen to the recording. Sure enough, the recording was an interview his father shared with Dr. King in 1960 for a book he was writing about King but never became a palpable thing. Tull told the Associated Press, “No words can describe. I couldn’t believe it. I found … a lost part of history.”
As reported in the Huffington Post, in the interview, Dr. King discusses the importance of the civil rights movement, his definition of nonviolence and how a recent trip of his to Africa informed his views on each topic. Tull said the recording had been in the attic for years, and he wasn’t sure who other than his father may have heard it. Historians claim Tull’s discovery is unique because there aren’t many recordings of Dr. King’s that discuss his activities in Africa. Tull is planning on offering the recording at a private sale arranged by a broker and collector in New York this month.
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Immediately, my mind wandered into the land of selfish profit. Although Dr. King is very big part of my own history, these recordings would do nothing for me personally, so I’d be ready and willing to sell them to the proper authorities. It’s 2012, so it’s easy to make copies to sell to museums, while either keeping the original or giving it to the King family. Either way, I’d want to make bank from the recordings. Why not?
Once I spoke my personal truth this morning, my coworker from our brother site, NewsOne, immediately chimed in and started in on a manifesto on how black people only care about making a profit, even if its through selling once-in-a-lifetime historical content. Even though I understood where he was coming from, I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone else felt the way I felt about selling it. Obviously Tull is about that profit life.
So, we asked our Facebook fans what they would do with the recordings and here’s the most interesting replies.
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