MLK Day Was 20 Years In The Making And Stevie Wonder Was There Every Step Of The Way
Stevie Wonder has led a long life of activism as a seminal figure and innovator of the r&b cannon, however, few know how integral he was in bringing MLK Day to fruition. A recent cuepoint entry from author Marcus Baram (Pieces Of A Man) shows how the man who brought the world some of the most remarkably poignant and socially sharp commentary (see “Big Brother,” “You Haven’t Done Nothing” or virtually the entirety of Songs In The Key Of Life) was able to push for a day to commemorate the genius, love and mission of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through steadfast advocacy and an unflinching dedication to King’s cause and movement, even in the face of such staunch opposition from an overwhelmingly conservative Congress.
Wonder and his band of A-list advocates first introduced the idea of a bill at King’s funeral in 1968, seeking to celebrate the leader’s birthday as a federally acknowledged holiday. Mr. Wonderlove was there for every step and shift, as his persistent efforts helped to see the bill signed in 1983, with the very first observation of the holiday on the third Monday of January in 1986 (South Carolina became the last state accept its observation in 2000). You can read the entirety of Baram’s piece by hitting the link below, just be sure you give Stevie’s heartfelt “Happy Birthday” to the King a listen as well and keep the love spinning on this year’s celebration of his legacy.