The Shmooze

David Copperfield and MLK

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
Getty Images
David Copperfield

Magician David Copperfield has purchased a newly discovered 1960 audiotape interview of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and has donated it to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

The tape was discovered by Stephon Tull of Chattanooga, Tenn. as he was cleaning out the attic in his father’s home. He found the recording, labeled “Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960,” in a dusty box along with other pieces of research his father had been doing for a book project about racism in Chattanooga. Tull’s father never completed the project and is now in his early 80s and in hospice care.

Copperfield, 55, did not disclose the amount he paid for the recording, but the New York-based broker who acquired it from Tull and sold it to Copperfield appraised its value at $100,000.

The magician had no intention of keeping the recording, and felt that the best place for it was the museum, which was built on the site where King was assassinated in 1968. “The magic of Dr. King was in his message: peace and nonviolence,” Copperfield told the Associated Press. “I didn’t want this to be hoarded away. I wanted it to be shared with people to continue the message, which is more important today than it’s ever been.”

Beverly Robertson, president of the museum, said she was excited about integrating the audio recording into its exhibits. “We are absolutely honored and thrilled to be receiving this audio that really presents history in the voice of one of the greatest human rights leaders of our time,” she stated. “There are few places that have King’s actual voice integrated into the exhibit, so this is a tremendous enhancement for all of our efforts at the National Civil Rights Museum.”

The museum is currently undergoing renovations, so it may be a while until the public can hear the tape as part of an exhibition. In the meantime, people can listen to a 5-minute portion of the interview on YouTube, where it has been set to a slide show of historical photos of King and the civil rights era.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: National Civil Rights Museum, Jr., Jewish, David Copperfield, Dr. Martin Luther King

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.