Virtual Martin Luther King Project

Project Website

Just days after the start of the Greensboro sit-ins in February 1960, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered what would become a widely influential speech titled, “A Creative Protest [“Fill Up the Jails”]” in Durham, NC. It marked the first time Dr. King openly encouraged activists to disrupt and break the law through non- violent confrontation even if it meant ‘filling up the jails.’ While a text of the speech is available through the Stanford archives, there is no known audio recording and the location was torn down to make way for the Durham Freeway.

The Virtual Martin Luther King, Jr. Project delivers a transmedia experience of King’s “Fill Up the Jails” speech in order to facilitate how public address can lead to social transformation and present publics with novel strategies for civic engagement. On June 8, 2014, scholars from NC State University partnered with the White Rock Baptist Church congregation, the Durham Ministerial Alliance, political leaders, and the surrounding communities to stage a public recreation of the speech.