Skip navigation

Martin Luther King in Newcastle

Martin Luther King in Newcastle: Improved Understanding and Engagement with the Commemoration of Regional Diversity, BAME History, and Social Justice Traditions

Researchers: Professor Brian Ward

In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. received an Honorary Doctorate from Newcastle University where he delivered a powerful impromptu speech concerning the global civil-rights struggle. This event and King’s words were lost to public memory for decades until Professor Brian Ward’s archival research enabled the episode, and the speech, to inform urgent contemporary debates about social inclusion, national/regional identity, and immigration. The research became the foundation for Freedom City 2017, a major commemorative festival that brought together 100,000 people across Tyneside and improved public awareness of the region’s cultural heritage. The research directly informed the work of organisations: it enabled Journey to Justice to expand from a Newcastle-based pilot to social justice projects in UK 14 cities with approximately 170,000 people visiting its exhibition and educational events; and Northern Roots (creative arts charity) secured over GBP 1,000,000 in funding to support their outreach work with displaced communities.

Latest News and Features

Relief workers walking through rubble in the aftermath of a storm in North Africa.
£1 million funding award supports leading new medical research at Northumbria University
a photo of monsoon rain in a mountainous location
Norman Franklin and Dr Jane Greaves in the OSCE test centre at Northumbria University
Generic Image from Unsplash. Gothic style university library.
Postgraduate design portfolio work displayed in the school of design at Northumbria university.
Abandoned fashion factory, Generic Image from Unsplash.
Pictured from left to right is Professor Gennady El, of Northumbria University; Dr Magda Carr, of Newcastle University; and Dr Matteo Somma and Dr Antonio Moro, of Northumbria University. Pictured standing on Newcastle Quayside.
More events

Upcoming events

Postgraduate Design Degree Exhibition
Some prickly Predicaments in Sonification
The Quorn Story

Back to top