Martin Luther King Day from 1984 to 2015

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.


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!

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!



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