“He Was a Remarkable Man”

How Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy is Honored Throughout Media


Fighting For Equality: King Jr. addresses a large crowd in San Francisco, California, June 30, 1964. Photo Courtesy: Creative Commons.

           Martin Luther King Jr. was known by many to be a pioneer for civil rights in society throughout the 1950s and 60s. 

           U.S. History teacher Ms. Sarah DiGiacomo agrees, “[Martin Luther King Jr.] was a remarkable man – driven by his faith and his passion for equality.”

           His work helped influence the ratification of what is believed to be two of the most significant human rights acts passed in American history: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the The Civil Rights Act of 1964.

           DiGiacomo adds, “[King Jr.] worked with leaders like JFK, RFK, and LBJ to pass important legislation, and ensure the rights of black people across the United States.”

           Today, in a society that is continuously modernizing, many people celebrate King Jr. by watching movies or TV shows, listening to music, and watching news programs/documentaries about the civil rights activist.

           One of the most popular movies that honors the legacy of King Jr. is the 2018 documentary King of the Wilderness

           According to a film review by Variety, “[The film shows] you a glimpse of the real glory of who he was: not a walking monument but a human being with fear, humor, guts, and (amazing) grace under pressure.”

           Another popular movie surrounding the legacy of King Jr. is the 2014 film Selma. The film is centered around many members of the Civil Rights Coalition that fought for the creation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. One of the members (and one of the main characters in the film) is King Jr.

           A film review by The Guardian says, “The film keeps our attention focused on the real story in triumphant fashion. Whatever the iniquities of awards ceremonies, the film certainly gets our vote.”

           Additionally, there are many famous songs that honor the legacy of King Jr. Some songs are “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2, “One Vision” by Queen, and “HiiiPoWeR” by Kendrick Lamar.

           It is believed by many that not only do these songs embody and spread the ideas and messages of King Jr., but they do so on a mainstream level.

           For example, it is widely believed that “Pride (In the Name of Love)” pays homage to ideas of civil rights activists (such as King Jr.) and the civil rights movement itself. The song also boasts over 190,000,000 listens on Spotify, and remains one of U2’s most popular songs according to streaming numbers.

           According to Lamar himself, the ideas of “HiiiPower” are spread throughout his song, with the three i’s in the title representing respect, honor, and heart. Lamar believes that King Jr. and other civil rights activists such as Marcus Garvey exemplified those ideals throughout their lifetime.

           American hip-hop magazine XXL summarizes HiiiPower as, “one of the finest tracks of 2011.”

           Regardless of how or if people celebrate the life of King Jr., many agree that his legacy is extremely important, and should be celebrated by all.