Roberts offers to recite King speech from memory

Kansas State Board of Education member Steve Roberts of Overland Park listens to comments by fellow board member Carolyn Campbell on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Topeka, Kan. Campbell raised concerns about Roberts' use of a racial slur during the April board meeting during a debate over new history standards to make a point about not sanitizing the past. (AP Photo/John Milburn)
Kansas State Board of Education member Steve Roberts of Overland Park listens to comments by fellow board member Carolyn Campbell on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Topeka, Kan. Campbell raised concerns about Roberts' use of a racial slur during the April board meeting during a debate over new history standards to make a point about not sanitizing the past. (AP Photo/John Milburn)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – A Kansas State Board of Education member who was criticized for using a racial slur has offered to recite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at a public discussion.

Steve Roberts, a Republican from Overland Park, said Monday he’s offered to recite King’s famous speech from memory at the event Friday. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the event is being organized by Topeka activist Sonny Scroggins to discuss the “N-word” and free speech.

Roberts drew criticism in May after he used the racial epithet at a state board meeting during a discussion on African-American history. Roberts said during that discussion that it was the 50th anniversary of King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and that King had used the “N-word” in his letter.

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