For general enquiries and room hireTyneside Irish Centre
43 Gallowgate Street,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
P: 0191 261 0384
To contact the Tyneside Irish Cultural Society visit their page
Don't miss our next Lecture, tomorrow at 7.30pm ... ...
Martin Luther King in Newcastle, 1967 - Prof Brian Ward
February 22, 2018, 7:30pm - February 22, 2018, 8:00pm
Martin Luther King in Newcastle, 1967: Race, Radicalism and the African American Freedom Struggle on Tyneside
Prof Brian Ward (Northumbria University)
In November 1967, Martin Luther King flew the Atlantic to collect an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from Newcastle University, where he improvised a spellbinding speech that focused on the triple interlocking problems of poverty, racism and war. This talk explains the circumstances of that visit and puts it into the context of Tyneside’s often forgotten links to the African American Freedom Struggle – links which date back at least to the 18th Century when transatlantic slavery underpinned both the region’s economic growth and the emergence of a powerful anti-slavery tradition. By the time a host of black and white abolitionists (including Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass) were making their way to Tyneside in the mid-19th Century the region had earned a reputation as a place of particular sanctuary and welcome for “peoples of color” that endured well into the 20th Century. The talk explains how that tradition dovetailed with a local reputation for political radicalism and dissent on a whole host of other issues (including suffrage rights, religious freedom, and Irish Home Rule). Thus King’s visit, like that of Olaudah Equiano before him and Muhammad Ali afterwards, forms an unlikely and largely forgotten thread in the tapestry of Tyneside’s racial, ethnic and radical history.