The Greatest MLK Speeches You Never Heard
(CNN) — Here’s a pop quiz for anyone who calls the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. an American hero.
Can you name any of his great speeches or written works without citing “I Have a Dream” or the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”?
Most Americans would likely flub this quiz. King may be a national hero whose birthday the country commemorates on Monday, but to many he remains a one-dimensional hero — the vast body of his work unknown. Though he wrote five books and delivered up to 450 speeches a year, he’s defined by one speech and one letter.
What then are the great works by King that never get the attention they deserve?
That’s the question CNN put to some members of King’s inner circle as well as top King scholars. We asked them to pick their favorite overlooked gems from King, any extraordinary spoken or written words people don’t typically hear during King commemorations.
Six entries made our final cut: three sermons and speeches, King’s most radical book, an astonishing letter he wrote as a college student, and a “eulogy” he delivered for a friend that revealed a side of him the public rarely saw.