January 16th, 2017 we celebrate the birth of a real life KING and modern leader, a man who peacefully paved the way to resisting bigotry and hatred, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Generally, we learned all about Dr. King, how he was a great man and peaceful leader for the civil rights movement, and of course the epic “I Have A Dream Speech” that we learned at a young age. But there was a lot about King that we didn’t learn about, such as who he was as a human being, exactly where he stood on controversial issues other than racism, and much more.
Often, when we look at public figures we put them on this invisible pedestal that makes them seem as if they are not real people, or these perfect creatures who can do no wrong. People like MLK Jr. and other inspiring leaders had their own demons and still persevered beyond belief. You can do it to.
On today’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., we pointed out 9 details about him and his life that you may not have known about before, but will certainly give you hope. Check them out below and continue to praise the man who changed the world in more ways than one.
1. Dr. King gave his “I Have A Dream” speech off the top of his head
Did you know that King “freestyled” his “I Have A Dream” speech? King had his whole speech planned, written out, and revised right in front of him and in front of over 200,000 people, he slid it to the side and spoke from his heart instead. King went with his gut and ended up delivering one of the most impactful speeches in the history of The United States Of America. Sometimes we feel as though we have to go by the books, follow our plans, and do what others think is best for us. Not Dr. King, and neither should you.
2. Suicide Attempt
King attempted suicide at the age of 12-years-old when he found out that his beloved grandmother had passed away. Kings mother passed away from a heart attack while he was away at a parade. King blamed himself for the death of his grandmother because he felt as though if he would have been there, he would have been able to prevent her death. King’s story is a reminder that we all have something to live for even though at the moment our world may seem so small. Can you imagine what would have happened if King’s suicide attempt went through? Can you imagine where America would be when it comes to civil rights and social injustice? The next time you are feeling low think about this, and realize you have a special light in you to keep you moving forward.
3. King got a C in a public speaking class.
King is one of the most looked-up to public speakers in history. Contrary to popular belief he wasn’t a natural when it came to public speaking in school. King was an amazing writer, but got a C in public speaking during the 1st year of seminary at Moorehouse College, before fine-tuning his skills and becoming one of the better speakers of our time. That’s right kids, keep studying.
4. Lover of Jazz music.
Martin Luther King believed in creativity, he believed in the arts, and he believed in using it as a part of the civil rights movement. King was a lover of Jazz music, here is a part of his speech from the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival:
“God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create-and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many different situations. Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music…..For in the particular struggle of the Negro in America there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man. Everybody has the Blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to love and be loved. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith….We must use time creatively” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
5. Huge Star Wars fan thanks to Nichelle Nichols.
King was Lieutenant Uhura’s from Star Wars’ greatest fan. The actress made history and started an uproar when she was cast for the original television show. This was one of the first times an African American woman had a major television role during the Civil Rights Movement. Nichelle Nichols was very involved in the movement and almost quit the show to be more physically present, but Dr. King convinced her to stay on the show instead. Star Wars was the only show that King and Coretta allowed their little children to stay up and watch.
“We don’t need you on the – to march. You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for.” – Martin Luther King to Nichelle Nichols So, I said to him, thank you so much. And I’m going to miss my co-stars.
6. Won a Grammy.
At the 13th annual Grammy awards, King won a grammy for his 1967 address, “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam”. The recording took home a posthumous award for Best Spoken Word. So basically, King is a poet as well, *Snap Snap*. Not too shabby for someone who wasn’t trying to be an entertainer.
7. MLK day is globally recognized…for a reason
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one of the national holidays that is recognized in placed other than the United States Of America. MLK Day also is celebrated in Toronto, Canada, and Hiroshima, Japan. That goes to show just how influential he was to not only the Civil Rights Movement here in the U.S., but for equal rights abroad.
Happy MLK Day to everyone, go out there and continue to #LiveCivil like Martin would.