MARTIN LUTHER KING IN NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE: The African American Freedom Struggle and Race Relations in the North East of England, by Brian Ward. Published by Tyne Bridge Publishing, Newcastle Libraries in partnership with Northumbria University. £14.99. Softback.

IN November 1967 Martin Luther King, the foremost figure in the US Civil Rights movement, flew across the Atlantic to spend less than 11 hours in the city to accept the award of an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law by the University of Newcastle.

He unexpectedly made an impromptu speech in which he linked the African American freedom struggle to developments in British race relations and issued a call for all people of goodwill to meet the global challenges of war, poverty and racism.

This book tells the inside story of King’s visit, describes the events of the day and investigates why he visited a city that he knew little about in the midst of his brutal work schedule – and at a time of enormous professional strain and personal doubt.