Origin Aug 11 presser teamNever before heard recording of 1962 version in Rocky Mt. revealed
RALEIGH, NC – For many years historians knew that civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had first delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at a high school gymnasium in Rocky Mount, NC on Nov. 27th, 1962 – eight months prior to his historic rendering of the iconic refrain at the August 28th, 1963 March on Washington fifty-two years ago this month.
But until now, no one has ever actually heard documented evidence of King’s Rocky Mount version, or known that legendary poet Langston Hughes actually inspired it.
Thanks to exhaustive research by North Carolina State University Professor of English W. Jason Miller, author of the new book Origins of the Dream: Hughes’ Poetry and King’s Rhetoric, and co-producer of Origin of the Dream, a documentary project examining the never-before-known, yet fascinating intellectual relationship between Dr. King and Hughes, that singular recording has been uncovered and electronically restored.
It will be revealed for the first time during a press conference on Tuesday, August 11th, 11 a.m. at the Teaching and Visualization Laboratory, fourth floor in the James B. Hunt Library on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University.
Prof. Miller will give the background on how and why King came to Rocky Mount to deliver what would prove to be his first test-run of perhaps the most famous speech in history, before playing the actual restored recording.
 There will also be several Rocky Mount residents on hand  – Ms. Helen Gay, Mr. Herbert Tillman and Dr. Tolokum Omokunde – who will talk about being at Dr. King’s 1962 address, and what it was like to realize months later that they were the first ones ever to hear “I Have a Dream.”
NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber will talk about the significance of Dr. King, who came to Rocky Mount to support voting rights for African-American citizens, first delivering his “Dream” speech here in North Carolina, and what it means to us today
.Origin Aug 11 Presser 2
Filmmaker Rebecca Cerese, award-winning documentarian for February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four among other projects, will show brief clips from Origin of the Dream which will feature Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. King’s closest aide; and Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus of the national NAACP Board and another close aide to Dr. King.
Reporters will also be given copies of the transcript of Dr. King’s original Nov. 27th, 1962 Rocky Mount speech, background on the recording and its restoration, and background on the new film still in production.
Camera crews are invited to setup in the lab between 10:30 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. prior to the presser.

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