Views & Thoughts

MLK Day Celebration, Thanks Stevie Wonder

Spread the love

By David Jordan Jr

Today we celebrate the birth, life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Amidst the celebrating of King’s life we all should show gratitude to Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder’s life was tremendously impacted by the life of Dr. King and the fact Wonder was a child during the turbulent 1950s and 1960s is more reason why he was able to fully identify with the amazing legacy left by King and his fight for equality. After the assassination Wonder began the journey to make the birthday of Dr. King a national holiday. Wonder was met with as much resistance in trying to achieve this goal as Dr. King was met with in his quest for equality for black citizens in the United States of America.  The same vigor, enthusiasm and pride used in his music,he used in his fight for King’s birthday to become a national holiday. Wonder embodied the same fighting spirit as King for what he believed and refusing to give up  despite the obstacles arising to block the proposed national holiday. The single "Happy Birthday" released by Stevie Wonder in 1981. The campaign to make King’s birthday a national holiday picked up a tremendous amount of momentum when Stevie Wonder released “Happy Birthday,” a tribute to King in 1981 and held a Rally For Peace Press Conference the same year in Washington D.C. thus spearheading the push for the national holiday.   On November 2, 1983 President Regan signed the holiday into existence and three years later the first official Martin Luther King, Jr Day was held on January 20, 1986.  The third Monday of January is observed as MLK Day, yet it wasn’t until 2000 that all states recognized this national holiday. Transcending as his music, the spirit and love of Stevie Wonder reflects everything which MLK stood for. Celebrate this day with love and seek to make a difference in the world around you.