Martin Luther King Jr. at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C in 1963. (Credit: Public Domain)

Songs Inspired by the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.


The life and death of Martin Luther King Jr. inspired many musicians to try to express his beliefs, ideas, and legacy through music. It seemed fitting to compile some of these songs to help people reflect on his legacy and honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Though some of the more powerful numbers like Common and John Legend’s “Glory” are well known to the masses, many songs like Leroy Hutson’s beautiful “Time Brings On A Change” are largely unknown to the general public. Several of Dr. King’s speeches are also included at the end of the playlist for further listening.

Hopefully the music and speeches collected here give people some pause to think about the power and influence of Dr. King’s life. For further reflection, take some time to visit The King Center’s remarkable digital archives. Containing everything from letters addressed to Dr. King from royalty to his personal notes and speeches, this collection preserves a level of depth and complexity that can’t be found in a text book. As The King Center says on their site, “There are nearly a million documents associated with the life of Martin Luther King Jr. These pages will present a more dynamic view than is often seen of Dr. King’s life and times.”


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