A Poetic Look At Martin Luther King, Jr. And His Legacy


Ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, poet Richard Blanco shared some of his favorite works engaging with Dr. King’s life and legacy.

Blanco read his poem “St. Louis: Prayer Before Dawn,” which discusses the social, political and economic disparities between two St. Louis neighborhoods, one predominantly white, and one predominantly black.

The poem includes references to prayers and Biblical passages, such as the Peace Prayer of St. Francis and Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which Blanco said are a nod to King’s role as a pastor and activist.

Blanco also shared the poem “won’t you celebrate with me” by Lucille Clifton, which explores her identity as an African-American woman.

This episode of “Village Voice” aired on WGBH Boston Public Radio on January 17, 2019.