Stevie Wonder has delivered a moving tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day, writing that Dr King would be shocked at how little has changed since his passing.
Yesterday marked the 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day: a day that recognises King’s impact on American civil rights and the fight for racial equality.
Along with recognition of how King’s lasting influence on the world, artist Stevie Wonder used the day to recognise how far the movement for civil rights still has to go.
The American singer-songwriter took to Twitter to post a moving speech to Martin Luther King Jr, praising him for the true hero and inspiration he is.
The letter also shines a light on Wonder’s disappointment: “for 36 years, we’ve had a national holiday honouring your birthday and principles, yet you would not believe the lack of progress. It makes me physically sick.”
— Stevie Wonder (@StevieWonder) January 18, 2021
Wonder cracks open the easy solutions that politicians have been using to cover a 400-year-old problem, arguing that citizens use God as a convenience rather than a commitment.
“What we say has not been what we do, and this country must reconcile our words and deeds… those who promote lies and false truth must be held accountable,” he says.
Thank you Stevie for this moment of truth❤️
— Lillias White (@DIAMONDLILLIAS) January 18, 2021
Wonder calls upon President Biden and Deputy Harris to develop a ‘Truth Commission’ that will allow the country to validate the truth of inequality in the United States.
He encourages those in the Senate to “speak the truth in what they know” and recognises that this will lead to “accountability, forgiveness and healing.” Wonder pledges that he will say what he sees, adding that nobody sees the world more clearly than him.
We tried to cover Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday for MLK Day today & found it IMPOSSIBLE to sing without very ugly crying. Highest praise to Stevie for writing & singing that song 🤚🏼
— Jolie Holland (@JolieHolland) January 19, 2021
The singer has been a long time advocate of Dr. King’s legacy. In 1980, he released the single Happy Birthday with the intent of making Dr King’s birthday a national holiday. In 1986, it became the first national holiday honouring a Black American.
Let’s hope Wonder’s courageous call is heard, and accountability for the truth is achieved in order to heal.