If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive, he would have turned 84 today. Defined by his soulful eloquence and his unrelenting stance on civil disobedience through nonviolence, the Civil Rights leader and Baptist minister inspired millions and continues to do so this present day.
Just what kind of impact did he have on Americans? We take a look at three prominent men, President Bill Clinton, TV journalist Tom Brokaw, and hit maker Stevie Wonder, as they describe in their own words how King's dream of seeing a more equal society influenced their lives and the rest of the world.
'Movement of Righteousness'
Tom Brokaw discusses how King seared the "true meaning of equality" into the American conscience. He also charges that the Civil Rights leader's assassination in 1968 should've had more scrutiny. Could there really have been only one gunman?
Remembering Segregation and MLK's Inspiration
President Bill Clinton distinctly recalls segregation growing up as a young child in Arkansas and how the Civil Rights movement began to change as many African Americans considered using force and violence against the daily brutality they were experiencing. Despite the divisions that grew within the black community, Clinton sees MLK's struggle as indispensible and exemplary—one that inspired famous leaders that came after him.
The Fight for MLK Day
After King's assassination in 1968, the fight to have a national Martin Luther King holiday was set in motion for the next decade. Driven and passionate for the cause, Stevie Wonder took off three years from his career to lead the charge. On King's birthday in 1982, Wonder led a peace rally in Washington and brought in his famous friends…discover how many people showed up and what happened next.