NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Magician David Copperfield said Wednesday he purchased a newly discovered audiotape of a Martin Luther King Jr. interview and would donate it to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis to promote the civil rights icon's message of nonviolence.
Copperfield told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he purchased the 1960 tape this week from New York-based collector and broker Keya Morgan, who acquired it from a Chattanooga man.
The clear audio recording includes King discussing the importance of the civil rights movement, his definition of nonviolence and his visit to Africa. An excerpt of the audio released last month on the Internet went viral, and evoked emotions in those who were close to King, such as U.S. Rep. John Lewis who said he was moved to tears after hearing King once again talk about nonviolence.
Copperfield said King inspired people to dream, and the magician's "art is about making people dream."
"The magic of Dr. King was in his message: peace and nonviolence," Copperfield said. "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."
He said he chose the National Civil Rights Museum because he thought it was the best fit for the recording, considering the museum is at the site where King was assassinated in 1968.
Beverly Robertson is president of the museum, which is undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation that includes expanding 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 said. "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."
Stephon Tull told the AP last month that he discovered the recording while looking through dusty old boxes in his father's attic in Chattanooga. He said he came across an audio reel labeled, "Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960."