In 1957, Richard D. Heffner sat down with Martin Luther King Jr. and Judge J. Waties Waring for a discussion that aired on NBC's The Open Mind program. Two years after the Montgomery Bus Boycott and against the backdrop of extreme racial tension in the South, they discussed the subject of "the New Negro." In response to the question, "What and who is this 'New Negro'?" King answers:

I think I could best answer that question by saying first that the New Negro is a person with a new sense of dignity and destiny. With a new self-respect. Along with that is lack of fear, which once characterized the Negro. This willingness to stand up courageously for what he feels is just and what he feels he deserves on the basis of the laws of the land.


Watch the full interview, courtesy of PBS, here.

Watch the full episode. See more The Open Mind.

Read a transcript of the interview here.

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