OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

OAH Distinguished Lectureship program 40 years 1981-2021

Clayborne Carson

Portrait of Clayborne Carson
Image Credit: Michael Collopy

In 1985, Clayborne Carson accepted the invitation of Coretta Scott King to direct a long-term project to edit and publish the papers of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The King Centennial Professor of history at Stanford and founding director of Stanford's King Research and Education Institute, Carson is the author of Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (2013), a coauthor of The Struggle for Freedom: A History of African Americans (2007), and has written or edited numerous works based on the papers, including The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998) and the docudrama "Passages of Martin Luther King." He was also a senior adviser for the award-winning public television series, "Eyes on the Prize."

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

Although King was the best-known African American of the 20th Century, the editor of his Papers reveals little-known aspects of King's basic identity as a social gospel preacher who unexpectedly became the visionary spokesperson of a mass movement beyond his control.