This Monday as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we remember not only his immence contributions to the civil rights movement and the many sacrifices he made for justice, but we also celebrate the moral and religious teachings that he bestowed upon millions as a minister and man of God.
The philosophies and teachings of Dr. King impacted many and his supporters came from all walks of life, including those of prominence within the black and white community.
The great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson was among the many close friends and supporters of Dr. King. She was at his side during civil rights demonstrations and lent her voice to many events of Dr. Kings’s including his famous “March on Washington” demonstration in 1963, in which she sung the classic gospel songs “How I Got Over” and “I’ve Been Buked and I’ve Been Scorned.”
It is well known that Dr. King was a big fan of Jackson’s and is even quoted as saying “A voice like hers comes along once in a millennium,” which is a statement that not many would disagree with.
Jackson and Dr. King were good friends up until the day he died, and Jackson sung his favorite song, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” at his funeral.
The Queen of Gospel and the King of Civil Rights had a great partnership and both of their legacies will continue to live on forever.
So, if you plan to volunteer on MLK Day or take part in a celebration in honor of Dr. King, just keep this in mind: think of his life as a song, preferally one by his favorite vocalist Mahalia Jackson. Her music is a treasure that we were blessed to have and regardless of how we celebrate the many songs she gave us, none of them will ever be forgotten.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction…The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” —— from Dr. King’s book Strength To Love, 1963