Martin Luther King Resources – Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

By Rev. Martin Luther King

April 4, 1967

Seminal speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

By 1967, Dr. King had become one of the country’s most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his groundbreaking “Beyond Vietnam” speech delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 — a year to the day before he was murdered — King called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” Dr. King’s words were both precautionary and prophetic, providing both a diagnosis and a cure – “a true revolution of values” – for our society’s gravest illnesses, “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism.”

How to organize a reading of the famous speech.

Full audio recording (approx. 1 hour) with transcript

Audio recording of key portion of speech (4:57 minutes)

Transcript of this portion: