Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence is an anti-Vietnam war speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1967. The major speech at Riverside Church in New York, New York, followed several interviews[1] and several other public speeches in which Dr. King came out against the war in Vietnam and the policies that created the war. Some, like civil rights leader Ralph Bunche, the NAACP, and the editorial page writers of the Washington Post[2] and the New York Times[3] called the Riverside Church speech a mistake on King's part. Others, including Dr. King's partner and strategist in the Civil Rights Movement, James Bevel, called it Dr. King's most important speech.

Dr. King delivered the speech, sponsored by the group Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, after committing to participate in New York's April 15, 1967 anti-Vietnam war march from Central Park to the United Nations sponsored by the Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam.

In 2010 PBS commentator Tavis Smiley said the speech was the most controversial speech of Dr. King's career, and the one he "labored over the most".[4]