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00:00:00 - Work on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project and meeting civil rights leaders

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Partial Transcript: Okay. We're here with Gerald Smith--Dr. Gerald Smith.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Gerald Smith gives a brief overview of his personal background and discusses his involvement as a co-editor on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project. He talks about how this project led to his meeting many civil rights leaders and icons.

Keywords: Anniversary; Civil rights leaders; Civil rights museums; Classes; Connections; Editors; Family; Georgia Davis Powers; Kentucky Historical Society; Lexington (Ky.); Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project; Memphis (Tenn.); Millennium Sunday; Published; Samuel Billy Kyles; Sermons; University of Kentucky; University of Memphis

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Civil rights; Civil rights movements--United States; King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968

00:05:17 - Beginning his interviews with Georgia Davis Powers

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Partial Transcript: And so, um, uh, by that time had moved on to working on the Kentucky African American Encyclopedia.

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about how he first met Senator Georgia Davis Powers and how he became involved in interviewing her in conjunction with her writing her second book.

Keywords: 2010; Books; Dr. King's Last Day (Book); First drafts; Georgia Davis Powers; Honest; Involvement; Kentucky African American Encyclopedia; Legislators; Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History; Manuscripts; Names; Open; Opportunities; Politics; Skeptical; The Day Dr. Martin Luther King was Killed: Five Friends, Five Hours, Five Steps to Infamy (Book); Truth; Writing

Subjects: African American leadership; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Politicians--Kentucky; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:10:55 - Interviewing Powers about her career

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's, let's pause right there and let's go backwards now.

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about beginning his interviews by asking Powers about her personal background and her career in politics. He talks about her legacy as a politician and civil rights activist.

Keywords: 1964; Advocates; Background; Careers; Georgia Davis Powers; Kentucky Senate; Kentucky history; Legacy; March on Frankfort; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Organizing; Political campaigns; Politics

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Civil rights; Civil rights movements--United States; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Politicians--Kentucky; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:13:47 - Justification for Powers' second book

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Partial Transcript: So there was a lot that had already been discussed.

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about his reasons for interviewing Powers, as well as her reasons for writing a second book.

Keywords: Abernathy, Ralph; Affairs; And the walls came tumbling down : an autobiography (Book); Betrayals; Books; Divulging; Dr. King's Last Day (Book); Georgia Davis Powers; I Shared the Dream: The pride, passion, and politics of the first Black woman senator from Kentucky (Book); Justification; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Purpose; Ralph Abernathy; Relationships; Secrets; The Day Dr. Martin Luther King was Killed: Five Friends, Five Hours, Five Steps to Infamy (Book); Truth; Writing

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Civil rights; Civil rights movements--United States; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:17:26 - Interviewing Powers about A.D. King and Lukey Ward

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Partial Transcript: So who were the other four?

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about Powers' responses to the questions he asked regarding A.D. King and Lukey Ward and their relationships with one another.

Keywords: A.D. King; Affairs; Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams King; Coworkers; Friends; Georgia Davis Powers; King, A.D.; King, Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams; Louisville (Ky.); Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Poor People's Campaign; Relationships; Revealing; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Civil rights; Civil rights movements--United States; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:22:31 - FBI's surveillance of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Partial Transcript: Um, the other thing--part two, was that they knew Lucretia Ward was an informant for the FBI.

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about Powers' assertion that Lukey Ward was an informant for the FBI and talks about what is known about the FBI's surveillance of King.

Keywords: A.D. King; Affairs; Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams King; Bugged; Communists; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Georgia Davis Powers; Hoover, J. Edgar; Informants; J. Edgar Hoover; Kennedy, Robert F.; King, A.D.; King, Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams; Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Monitoring; Robert F. Kennedy; Surveillance; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Civil rights; Civil rights movements--United States; King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:25:51 - Interviewing Powers about the events of the day of King's assassination

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Partial Transcript: And then they stayed in the room and she said--you know, cor, corre--I mean, uh, uh, Senator Powers said...

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about Powers' responses to the questions he asked regarding what happened on the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, April 4, 1968. He talks about the clarifications she made to others' accounts of the events.

Keywords: Abernathy, Ralph; And the walls came tumbling down : an autobiography (Book); Annotations; Books; Clarifications; Conversations; Corrections; Federal court injunctions; Fish dinners; Georgia Davis Powers; Imitations; Kentucky; Last meals; Marches; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Moods; Perspectives; Pillow fights; Poor People's Campaign; Ralph Abernathy; Resting

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Civil rights; Civil rights movements--United States; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:32:14 - Interviewing Powers about the night before King's assassination

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Partial Transcript: But in talking about that we, um--you know, I had to, uh, had to back up to April third.

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about Powers' responses to the questions he asked regarding what happened on the night before Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. He talks specifically about the things she said which had never been previously discussed.

Keywords: A.D. King; Abernathy, Ralph; Affairs; Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams King; Apologizing; Apology; April 3, 1968; Books; Georgia Davis Powers; Guilt; Hotel registry; King, A.D.; King, Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams; Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Motel registry; Motels; Names; Ralph Abernathy; Room 201; Rooms; Switching rooms; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"

Subjects: African American leadership; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:39:55 - Interviewing Powers about her relationships with Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King

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Partial Transcript: I know--I remember when I talked to her informally when she was here, um, donating her papers...

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about Powers' responses to the questions he asked regarding the nature of her relationship with Martin Luther King, Jr., his relationship with his wife, and Powers' thoughts while meeting his wife at the funeral.

Keywords: Affairs; Apologizing; Apology; Books; Coretta Scott King; Emotional; Feelings; Georgia Davis Powers; Intimate; King, Coretta Scott; Love; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Mistresses; Relationships; Respect; Thoughts; Wife

Subjects: African American leadership; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Marriage; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:43:38 - Interviewing Powers about her guilt over her relationship with King

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Partial Transcript: Now of all of that, you know even now as we look back on it...

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about Powers sharing her feelings of guilt about her relationship with King during their interview.

Keywords: Affairs; Churches; Embarrassed; Fears; Forgiveness; Georgia Davis Powers; Guilt; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Pastors; Spiritual; Women

Subjects: African American leadership; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-; Religion

00:46:31 - Importance of Powers' book and Smith's interviews with her

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Partial Transcript: But again, I still didn't get the sense she wanted to do these three days of interviews with you just to tell the details of the affair...

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks more about his reasons for interviewing Powers, as well as her reasons for writing a second book. He talks about the importance of gaining another perspective on the events surrounding King's life and assassination. He talks about the connections between King and Kentucky.

Keywords: Affairs; Assassinations; Books; Connections; Conspiracy theories; Conversations; Dialogue; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Georgia Davis Powers; Importance; James Earl Ray; Kentucky; Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Perspectives; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Civil rights; Civil rights movements--United States; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-

00:49:27 - Powers' legacy

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Partial Transcript: I mean one of the great things about oral history in general is that we get this kind of perspective.

Segment Synopsis: Smith talks about Powers' legacy and how it will be affected by the knowledge of her affair with King. He talks about what can be learned from their interviews, unrelated to the affair. He talks about Powers' personal as well as historical redemption. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: A.D. King; Advocates; Affairs; Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams King; Details; Fallibility; Flaws; Genuine; Georgia Davis Powers; Guilt; Historians; History; King, A.D.; King, Alfred Daniel (A.D.) Williams; Legacy; Lucretia "Lukey" Ward; Lukey Ward; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Memory; Mentors; Ministers; Opportunities; Papers; Personal; Power; Preachers; Private; Public; Recorders; Recording; Redemption; Relationships; Restricted; Status; Truth; Ward, Lucretia "Lukey"

Subjects: African American leadership; African Americans--Civil rights; Civil rights movements--United States; Interviewing--Technique.; Interviews (Sound recordings); Kentucky--Politics and government; King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Oral histories.; Oral history interview; Oral history recordings; Oral history--Methodology.; Politicians--Kentucky; Powers, Georgia Davis, 1923-