On April 4, 1967 exactly 1 year before his assassination, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave likely his most controversial and powerful speech about his opposition to the Vietnam War – “Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence” Listen Here . It’s quite harrowing that almost 50 years later, much of this anti-war speech is still relevant in 2016. Have we broken the silence yet?
How will you be honoring Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday today?
What are some of your favorite MLK Jr. Speeches, Quotes, and Interviews?
What are some of you favorite anti-war soul tunes or anti-war films?
Please share with us your comments or posts.
I’ve also been boppin’ to a Vietnam war soul/doowop song by Archie Bell & the Drells titled “A Soldier’s Prayer 1967” – https://youtu.be/ezrqPgvOMoo which was recorded and released around the same time as MLK Jr’s Speech, not sure if it was before or after.
Archie Bell, was actually drafted to fight in Vietnam on 12 May 1967. When he received his draft card, his band mate Billy Butler tried to cheer him up with an impromptu version of a demo they recorded in 1964 called “Tighten Up”. The next day they recorded the song in a studio. While recovering from a leg wound sustained in Vietnam, in a Veteran’s Administration hospital in Germany, the song “Tighten Up” was released and hit # 1 in the Billboard charts (13 April 1968). 1 2
Wikipedia states “Hebb wrote the song in the 48 hours following a double tragedy on November 22, 1963, the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Hebb’s older brother Harold was stabbed to death outside a Nashville nightclub. Hebb was devastated by both events and many critics say that those events and critically the loss of his older brother inspired the lyrics and tune. According to Hebb, he merely wrote the song as an expression of a preference for a “sunny” disposition over a “lousy” disposition following the murder of his brother.
To bring it back full circle Bobby Hebb is from Memphis, TN, the same place MLK Jr. was assassinated 1 year after his Anti-war speech linked above.
Although I’ve digressed a bit, I feel it’s all still relevant because today is more than just honoring MLK Jr. I feel like today is about honoring all things afro-centric, and all people of color globally… and there is a lot to honor. So say it loud, and say it proud my dear brothers and sisters of this earth, because it is truly a “Time To Break Silence”. MLK Jr. was a damn good man, a man with integrity, passion, and love for all people regardless of skin color, race, or background, and for that his spirit lives on forever in my heart and in many hearts across the universe. And with that I’d like to wrap up as I look forward to hearing about your MLK Jr. day plans, MLK stories, or any anti-war songs, soul songs, movie suggestions, or any afro-centric themed links you may share with me and the Holy Grail boys.