Martin Luther King, Jr. and a Spirited Speech

You may not have known that the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is here in Atlanta. He was born in a neighborhood known as “Sweet Auburn,”and attended Ebenezer Baptist Church. You can visit his childhood home, and the historic church, as well as the King Center to learn more about this charismatic leader. And I’m sure, at some point, you’ll hear or read the words from his famous speech.

Here’s something else you may not have known. Martin Luther King had prepared a fine speech to deliver on August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C. But over half-way through, he laid aside his script and said, “I have a dream.” What followed was one of the world’s most famous speeches, powerful words that inspired a nation then, and continue to inspire us now.

I can’t say for certain why Martin Luther King felt compelled to leave his prepared text and speak extemporaneously. But I suspect the spirit moved him. And perhaps the Spirit moved him, too. And that spirited passion made all the difference.

Imagine what you could do with a little spirited passion in your writing. Don’t be afraid to leave your script and see where it takes you. Just one more thing I thought you’d like to know as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.