The Civil Rights Movement and the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. affected the way we saw ourselves, the way we responded to microaggressions and blatant discrimination. It also affected our creative expression.

Some of the world’s best music was born of this movement, a reflection of our collective joy and triumph, deep angst and anxiety, grief and mourning. As a people, we felt empowered and emboldened and FED UP. The assassination of Dr. King added fuel to the fire in our bellies.

It seems no coincidence that Memphis became a hot seat of the movement and the music scene at that time, with Stax and Hi Records leading the charge.

As part of the MLK50 thread, I spoke with David Porter – a force behind many-a timeless song and currently the helmsman of the Made in Memphis label – about the affect King’s life and death had on him and other artists and the music of the movement.

“We were devastated…when it happened Isaac (Hayes) and I got in our car and tried to drive as close as we could to where it happened. We couldn’t do anything else at that time,” Porter said.

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Courtesy of The New Tri-State Defender