Our Friend, Martin is the iconic Martin Luther King, Jr. film that we watched every year in elementary school. We all remember our teacher rolling in the television and the VCR/DVD player and popping this bad boy in. Every January, we got to see Miles Woodman and his friend Randy Black explore the life of MLK. For kids, this movie was informative, exciting, and it kept our attention.
Besides the fact that Our Friend, Martin was a staple in the learning process of everybody born after 1991, the film itself also featured a lot of heavy hitters. Actors such as Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones, and a young Robert Ri'chard starred in this iconic film.
Our Friend, Martin offered us an elementary version of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life. We saw him as an adolescent playing baseball, we saw him talk about the hard-work that allowed him to make it to Morehouse College, and as scary as it seems, we were able to see protests, attack dogs, and even the bombing of MLK's home.
Even though this film is a cartoon-ish depiction of the amazing work MLK largely contributed to society, at a young age, we were able to learn about the life of a true American hero. For someone to unselfishly give up the comfort of their life to insure that the people who came after him lived righteously is not something that the average individual has the willpower to do.
On this day, and everyday, we are thankful for Martin Luther King, Jr. and his daring band of individuals, most of whom were young adults, who sacrificed every part of their lives to insure to we would live a life full of equality and hope.
To Our Friend, Martin, we say thank you and happy birthday.