Passport Radio REMEMBERING Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Passport Radio REMEMBERING Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pic

It’s impossible to deny the impact that Martin Luther King Junior had on our society, which continues to be felt to this day.

Here are some of Hollywood’s top stars (and President Obama) speaking on what Dr. King means to them and how they’ve been inspired by his message.

Ava DuVernay talks about what she was trying to show in Selma.

09/09/2017 - Ava Duvernay - 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Photo Credit: / PRPhotos.com

09/09/2017 – Ava Duvernay – 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards – Photo Credit: / PRPhotos.com

“I mean I don’t think any of us were interested in doing a film about a speech or a statue or a street or a sale or a catchphrase or a statue. All of the things he’s become — he’s been homogenized and kind of smoothed out. But he was a little rough around the edges. He was a man of faith who wasn’t always faithful. He had an ego. He was sometimes guilty, he was very vibrant, he was a prankster, he liked to eat, he liked to laugh. He was complicated and he had doubts. He’s a human being like any of us. That’s what we want to do in films. David always says we wanna go to films to see ourselves and hopefully in Selma you see a little bit of yourselves in Dr. King — an ordinary person who does extraordinary things. It’s possible for all of us and he definitely took that to another level.”

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Common talks about what he learned about Dr. King when working on Selma.

06/03/2017 - Common - 16th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball - Photo Credit: PRPhotos.com

06/03/2017 – Common – 16th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball – Photo Credit: PRPhotos.com

“Ambassador Young mentioned one thing about how they used to joke a lot because they would laugh just to get through some of the real struggle they were going through. It was so tough that sometimes you just gotta laugh to stay into some type of piece. So I kind of learned that about all of those guys that they were fun guys and at the same token still fighting and how young they were in the fight and just how dedicated and committed they were to this everyday special and what they sacrificed us. That’s what I learned about Dr. King and his whole team.”

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Oprah tells the crowd at 50th anniversary celebration in 2013 that they can do their part to make ensure the King’s dream stays alive. 

04/18/2017 - Oprah Winfrey - HBO's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" TV Movie New York City Premiere - Photo Credit: Marco Bogart / PRPhotos.com

04/18/2017 – Oprah Winfrey – HBO’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” TV Movie New York City Premiere – Photo Credit: Marco Bogart / PRPhotos.com

“As the bells toll we commit to a life of service, because Dr. King, one of my favorite quotes from him is, ‘Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.’”

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At 50th anniversary celebration, Jamie Foxx called on other celebrities to step up their commitment and carry the civil rights torch lit by King and Harry Belafonte. 

01/05/2017 - Jamie Foxx - "Sleepless" Los Angeles PremierePhoto Credit: PRPhotos.com

01/05/2017 – Jamie Foxx – “Sleepless” Los Angeles PremierePhoto Credit: PRPhotos.com

“What we need to do now, is the young folks pick it up now so that when we’re 87 years old, talking to the other young folks, we can say it was me, Will Smith, Jay Z, Kanye, Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington, the list goes on and on.”

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Forrest Whitaker, like Oprah, said one doesn’t need to be famous to make an impact.

Forrest Whitaker - 30th Annual People's Choice Awards - Photorazzi

Forrest Whitaker – 30th Annual People’s Choice Awards – Photorazzi

“Like so many silent heroes and heroines of the movement, each of us can spark change by working to strengthen communities, to shape our common destiny.”

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Martin Luther King Jr.(January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement.
He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience.
King is a national icon in the history of American progressivism.
A gifted and friendly student, King attended Morehouse College where he earned a BA in sociology. Combining a passion for racial equality with a rediscovered spirituality, King then attended Crozer Theological Seminary following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps earning a Bachelors of Divinity.
Shortly after he completed his Ph.D. in theology at Boston University in 1955 a 42-year-old Rosa Parks (See Rosa Parks Day which is observed December 1) refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The opportunity for the NAACP to bring their civil rights efforts to the forefront was before them, and King was chosen to lead the successful city-wide boycott of the Montgomery transit system.
Just over a year later, King along with over 60 other ministers and activists founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Together they coordinated non-violent protests and gave a voice to the young civil rights movement.
Through the next twelve years, King would be influential in organizing marches, sit-ins and political rallies for civil rights. During a 1963 March on Washington, D.C. for Jobs and Freedom, King spoke before more than 200,000 regarding the challenges African Americans face. His “I Have a Dream” speech has gone down in many history books as one of the greatest speeches ever given. Brutally honest, a call to action and a vision of hope, King’s speech resonated throughout the nation.
In early 1964, during a march outside Selma when 1,500 men and women were met by a wall of state troopers, King lead the marchers in prayer successfully avoiding any confrontation with authorities. On July 2, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. That same year, King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his unswerving work in the Civil Rights Movement.
In early 1965, Selma, Alabama became the center of the Civil Rights movement when new voting rights legislation was introduced in Congress that would ban literacy tests, mandate federal oversight where tests were administered and would give the U.S. attorney general the duty of challenging the use of poll taxes for state and local elections. Televised violence in February of that year resulted in the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson. King’s presence and President Johnson’s support of the marchers helped bring peace. Throughout the next month, marchers continued between Selma and Montgomery. Congress Passed the Voting Rights Act in August of that year.
Author, speaker, father, theologian, activist, King was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennesee. There in support of a sanitation workers’ strike, King and other SCLC members were staying at the Lorraine Motel when Ray’s bullet would strike King on the balcony. Riots and violence would follow and President Johnson would call for peace, referring to King as the “apostle of nonviolence.”

MLK DAY: Dr. King’s Greatest Quotes

Today (Monday, Jan. 15, 2018), the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Junior Day. This year’s celebration is extra special because it is the 50th anniversary since Dr. King’s death and it actually falls on his birthday as well. In remembrance, we’re looking back at some of the civil rights pioneer’s greatest quotes.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pic
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  • “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
  • “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”
  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
  • “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
  • “The time is always right to do what is right.”
  • “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
  • “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
  • “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
  • “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
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