MLK Predicted Black US Prez in 'Less Than 40 Years'

BBC unearths 1964 talk with civil rights leader
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2009 8:48 PM CST
MLK Predicted Black US Prez in 'Less Than 40 Years'
In this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington.   (AP Photo/File)

The BBC has dug up an archival interview of Martin Luther King, Jr predicting a black US president "in less than 40 years." Talking to the BBC's Bob McKenzie in 1964, King said he was encouraged by recent changes, like compliance with the Civil Rights Act, "that have been most surprising. So on the basis of this, I think we may be able to get a negro president in less than 40 years."

"I think that this could come in 25 years or less," he added. "There are Negroes who are presently qualified to be president of the United States, but we do know that there are certain problems and prejudices and mores in our society that make it difficult now." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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