Clarence B. Jones, one of Dr. King’s legal advisers and speechwriters, stood not far from him on the stage that day. According to Jones, Dr. King paused, acknowledged Jackson and then launched into the magnificent and extemporaneous oration that has come to be most closely associated with Dr. King’s enduring legacy.
Jones recently published a book entitled, Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation. He discussed his experiences as one of Dr. King’s inner circle, as well as his take on issues of our times, in a broadcast aired on NPR’s program, Fresh Air, today.
You do not need a formal workplace diversity initiative to take advantage of this opportunity: listen to the Jones interview and listen to the speech itself. Note your reactions. Talk about it with colleagues and associates. Comment and reply to other comments on this page.
It doesn’t matter where you were on that day. It doesn’t even matter if you were born yet. It doesn’t matter how many MLK holidays you’ve seen or celebrated. There is always something new to learn from the wondrous Reverend Dr. King.