Celebrating Dr. King
Today is a holiday to remind us all of the sacrifices that Martin Luther King Jr. made for his country and the progressive spirit that has kept America the greatest country in the world. King’s close personal adviser and lawyer, Clarence Jones, tells the story of this visionary and how he went from nearly never meeting King, to helping him draft the “I Have a Dream” speech.
In Jone’s book, Behind The Dream, he describes the inception of the “I Have a Dream Speech” and his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“To put it in historical context, he was then a celebrity,” Jones says. “At least, he was regarded as such by my wife, who thought when Martin Luther King Jr. was coming to our home, it was a combination of Moses, Jesus, George Clooney, Sidney Poitier and Michael Jackson. So in he comes and we have some pleasantries and he gets down right to the point. He said, ‘You know, Mr. Jones, we have lots of white lawyers who help us in the movement. But what we need are more young Negro professionals because every time we embark on something, we are being hit with some form of legal action.’ ”
Jones turned him down — until King left the house and Jones’ wife stepped in.
“Soon after he left, she turned to me and said, ‘What are you doing that’s so important that you can’t help this man?’ She was angry at me and then I began to be angry at Martin King. Because I thought to myself that like all young couples, we were living in domestic tranquility, and here this total stranger comes into my house and gets my wife angry at me over something I had nothing to do with.”