Martin Luther King’s “Other America” speech should be as well known and well listened to as his other more famous speeches. People need to learn what life is like in the “other America” King describes in powerful and compelling words.
He did several versions of this speech in different places. Some of them are online in text and/or taped versions. This link is to the full speech as delivered at Stanford. It runs 47 minutes. It is worth every minute to get the impact of the full message.
King’s “a riot is the language of the unheard” quote comes from this speech. Unfortunately, the now oft quoted “riot” phrase is too often taken out of context to say something very different from what King is saying. In no uncertain terms King repeatedly condemns riots and violence.
King was for non-violence. But not a passive, “wait and see non-violence”. He was for a very aggressive but non-violent confrontation of the evils in America. He was willing to put his life on the line for what he believed.