Martin Luther King Day from 1984 to 2015

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In January, 1984 I went to a celebratory concert at the Capital Center just outside Washington, DC. The star was Stevie Wonder and he had worked a long time to make the King Holiday a reality.

What a concert it was! It began with a massive gospel choir of maybe 100 people and as they were building to a dramatic climax Stevie joined them! He would go on to play an epic show ending with the birthday song he had composed for MLK himself!

Recently I visited another effort long in the making, a Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall. It’s a beautiful monument that strikes a good balance between lionizing him and humanizing him. It is just a short walk from the Lincoln Memorial and the reflecting pool that were the site of his famous “I have a Dream” speech.

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He looks across the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson Memorial, and to his left (the statue’s that is) is the Washington Monument. Pretty good company!

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In recent days as the Ferguson, MO incident and ensuing protests have taken place, I have wondered what he might have said about it all were he alive today. He’d be 85. I suspect he would have wise insight and would not have liked the inflammatory media coverage.

Here’s to you MLK, may you have many imitators!

TT

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