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Clayborne Carson      

Scholar, Author, Professor, Civil Rights Historian & Director of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute

Clayborne Carson has devoted most of his professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movements King inspired. Since receiving his doctorate from UCLA in 1975, Dr. Carson has taught at Stanford University, where he is now Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History and Ronnie Lott Founding Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute.

In 1985 the late Coretta Scott King invited Dr. Carson to direct a long-term project to edit and publish an authoritative edition of King's speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. Under Dr. Carson’s direction, the King Papers Project has produced seven volumes of "The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr".

Dr. Carson also served as senior advisor for the award-winning, public television series on the civil rights movement, "Eyes on the Prize". In addition, he has participated in the making of numerous other documentaries, including "Freedom on My Mind", which was nominated for an Oscar in 1995, "Blacks & Jews", "Citizen King", "Have You Heard from Johannesburg?", "Freedom Riders", "Black Panther: Vanguard of a Revolution" and "I Am MLK Jr.". The audio version of Carson's edition of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. won a Grammy award in 2000. In addition to his regular courses at Stanford, Carson also teaches an online open enrollment course, American Prophet: The Inner Life and Global Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Carson's musical play, "Passages of Martin Luther King," was first performed by Stanford's drama department in 1993 and was subsequently performed in various places throughout the United States.

Speech Topics

The Remaking of the Black Identity in the 21st Century

Malcolm X: The Man & The Myth

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Clayborne Carson on World House Podcast
Welcome to the World House, a podcast inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., and his vision of a just and peaceful world. Listen to Dr. Clayborne Carson, the director of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute and Dr. Mira Foster, Director of the Liberation Curriculum, as they talk about anything and everything related to Martin Luther King, Jr., and the freedom struggles he inspired.
MLK expert talks to us about possible advice to President Obama ...
Professor Clayborne Carson, Ph.D., is the leading authority on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He is the keeper of all of King's papers and is the head of Stanford's ...
Stanford professor Clayborne Carson reflects on March on ...
Clayborne Carson was 19 when he ignored warnings about the dangers and propensity for violence before hitching a ride with the Indianapolis NAACP to ...

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