Martin Luther King’s notes for his iconic “We Shall Overcome” speech were among the highlights of Goldin Auctions’ April 29 sale.
They realised $382,500.
The auction was held to benefit the Jackie Robinson foundation and featured a wealth of material connected with the baseball star and civil rights activist, alongside lots connected with other important African-American figures.
We Shall Overcome became a rallying cry of the civil rights movement
Dr King made his We Shall Overcome speech at Chicago’s United Church of Christ in 1965. That phrase, from a well-known gospel song, would become one of the key rallying cries of the civil rights movement.
It would be the theme of his final sermon on March 31, 1968, three days before he was murdered by white supremacist James Earl Ray.
The auction house described the lot as “worthy of a place in the Smithsonian”.
The robe the late Muhammad Ali wore in his first heavyweight championship bout, against Sonny Liston, made $255,000.
It’s embroidered “The Lip”, in reference to Ali’s penchant for trash-talking his opponents.
Ali won the fight by technical KO, following six bruising rounds.
Afterwards, Ali famously yelled at the ringside press: "I am the greatest! I shook up the world. I'm the prettiest thing that ever lived.”
Sometime after the fight, the robe was also embroidered “The Greatest”.
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