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Podcast Review: The World House

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, an excellent podcast to listen to is The World HouseThe hosts, Dr. Clayborne Carson and Dr. Mira Foster, talk about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr and famous speeches that he gave. Included in the podcast are clips of King’s speeches with background information to them provided by the hosts. So far I have listened to three of twenty-one episodes that are in the show. These episodes are about MLK Jr.’s early years, the speech he gave about the Vietnam War, and his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. The World House podcast that I highly recommend. 

The podcast begins with an episode about the speech Martin Luther King, Jr. gave about the Vietnam War. In this speech, he was critical of the war for the first time. Dr. Carson talks about how King was advised to stay out of politics, which he did for a certain period of time. With the increase of fighting in Vietnam during 1967 and people including his wife voicing their criticism of the war, he felt an obligation to make a speech. During the speech, he talked about how Vietnam was colonized for long periods in its history and the need for it be an independent country. He also vowed to fight injustice throughout the world. The speech was thought to be controversial during its time period but it proved to be one of King’s most influential ones. I was fascinated to hear clips of the speech and expert commentary by Dr. Carson and Dr. Foster.       

Episode 2 is about the early years of Martin Luther King Jr. The hosts first talk King’s family tree. His grandfather, father, and King himself were preachers at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. His family was involved in civil right advocacy. This included his grandfather, father, and mother. As a boy, King experienced racism in a shoe store. His father and him were sent to the back of the store to keep them away from other customers. King also witnessed his father being called a “boy” by a police officer. From this episode, you learn about the influence of family and college professors on him which made him the powerful the civil leader that he became. 

The latest episode of this podcast is about King’s “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech. Similar to other podcast episodes, you hear clips of the speech and background information to it. During the speech, you hear King offering encouragement to striking sanitation workers and saying that he was solidarity with them. Interesting, he was feeling sick before he gave the speech and he had to be persuaded to go to the Mason Temple. The strikers and people throughout the world are fortunate that he gave it! Unfortunately, King was assassinated the day after he gave this speech. Dr. Clayborne talks about although there were military intelligence spying on him, they provided no protection from his assassin. Like all episodes that I listened to, this one was interesting and enlightening.

To learn about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and to get an in depth understanding of his speeches, I highly recommend The World House. Not only is it amazing to hear parts of King’s speeches, but it is equally interesting to learn the expert commentary behind them. This is an excellent podcast that helps celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The World House can listened to on the King Institute website. It can also be heard on apps such as Apple podcasts, spottily, and many more.

Michael Walsh

Adult Service Librarian-Will Library