ATLANTA, Jan. 16, 2023 /Christian
Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by Dr. Alveda King, she is available
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Around the country, all of the
memorials and community service days will, for a few hours, unify the
nation. Under the brilliant glow of my uncle's words and the memory of his
actions, many Americans will set aside our differences and work together.
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy is universally celebrated. Few figures in
modern history collectively bring people of divergent views together. I may
be biased because he's my "Uncle ML," but you have to be a truly miserable
person not to appreciate the good that his living gave to the world. His
legendary "one blood" (Acts 17:26) declaration of one human race still
When I think of the areas that influenced Uncle ML, I must consider the
music that engulfed our lives and the family home on Auburn Ave. The music
was rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel music tradition of the
Black church is the playlist of my life. It was the playlist of my uncle's
life. Gospel music derived from the hard struggle of the African-American
community combined with the truth of scripture was a source of comfort and
inspiration for my uncle; and remains the same for me today.
Our family has sacrificed many lives on the altar of justice for this
nation. In 1974, my beautiful grandmother Alberta Williams King was
assassinated as she sat at the church organ while playing "The Lord's
Prayer." That was the same year I published my first song - Let Freedom
As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, I want to look to the
music that gave him courage in the darkest hours. Even on the day he was
assassinated, the last request he made was to Ben Branch when he asked
Branch to play Take My Hand, Precious Lord. His dear friend songstress
Mahalia Jackson's recording of the song remains a classic today. It's quite
possible that Branch already had that tune prepared to play that day because
it was one of my uncle's favorites.
Many people are not familiar with the history of the song. Today it is
celebrated and heralded around the globe. But it was not immediately
accepted by the Christian community because of its roots. Take My Hand,
Precious Lord was written by Thomas A. Dorsey, a musician who honed his
craft performing blues and jazz. He rose to fame touring with Ma Rainey, who
was not known for her wholesome concerts.
Like most extraordinary works of art, the song was conceived and born
through tragedy. Dorsey wrote the song after he lost his wife to childbirth
and his infant son within 24 hours.
The song speaks to the pain and anguish of a dark night that can only be
conquered with God's hand. My uncle had many such nights and days as he
worked to save the soul of America.
Already 2023 has brought my share of pain and anguish to my door. Two of my
sweet "sisters in Christ"- Civil Rights icon Cleo Orange and freedom fighter
Diamond (of Diamond and Silk) - have passed away. They will be missed. May
God comfort and heal all of us who mourn. I find myself seeking comfort in
prayers, scripture and favorite hymns.
In my book King Rules, I conclude with a chapter: If MLK Could Tweet. Today
I honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with an addendum: If MLK Had a Playlist.
Headlining this list is of course Precious Lord.
My upcoming album Freedom Melodies - to be released for Black History Month
on February 3, 2023 - will highlight other favorites.
For a sneak preview, enjoy a fresh take on the 20th century Civil Rights
anthem We Have Overcome.
Also, in tribute to the Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream, I've covered
The Impossible Dream. I am grateful that my Uncle M.L. taught us that,
in God's hands, the Dream isn't so impossible after all.
The Impossible Dream - Alveda King Ministries
"I have a dream; it is rooted in the American Dream." -- Dr. Martin Luther
Finally my friends, today for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday and the
March for Life quickly following, I pray God's blessings for you and
everyone. Let faith, hope and love guide you in the days ahead.
Our ministry is funded by generous individuals like yourself. We have
many ongoing projects that help us to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a
world much in need of His message. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to Alveda King Ministries.
About Alveda King:
Alveda C. King, PhD, serves as Chair of the America First Policy Institute's
Center for the American Dream. She is the daughter of the late slain civil
rights activist Rev. A. D. King and the niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr., as well as a Christian evangelist; graduate of Aidan University; and
is founder of SPEAK FOR LIFE, and ALVEDA KING MINISTRIES (www.alvedaking.com).
Dr. King is also an acclaimed author, Fox News Channel contributor, Fox Nation
host, NEWSMAX blog contributor, twice elected to GA State House, past
presidential appointee, 2021 recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement
Award, and is a film and music industry veteran.