A Voice That Echoes: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This post was written by Hannah Morris, Director of Facilitation & Evaluation at The Latimer Group. 

Inspirational speakers have voices that endure long past their lifetime. The voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lives on – thanks in part to recordings – but primary thanks to his ability to inspire.

As a child listening to Dr. King’s speeches for the first time, I heard his voice calling to me. As an adult, I still hear that echoing voice every time I see his image or read his words. The rich, booming sound, the scratchiness of the recording, and the feeling it inspired are all captured and replayed by memory.

In his messages, Dr. King assembled words into powerful statements and did not shy away from their full weight and meaning. He delivered them to land and reverberate. In its flow and rhetoric, his communication was beautiful. He chose careful metaphors to illustrate and inspire, and leveraged the full dial of emotion to motivate.

Dr. King used his voice to bring more people to the marches, to the cause, to the conversation. Part of his tremendous and enduring power was making people feel not just included, but necessary. He made it clear that their voice and presence belonged in the conversation, and he articulated the danger of their silence and absence. In fact, some of Dr. King’s most powerful statements address what happens when we don’t speak. His voice and its echo remind us of the danger of inaction and continue, even in his absence, to add urgency to the present moment.

In an era where companies, leaders, and employees are thinking and talking more about words like “inclusion” and “belonging”, Dr. King’s echoing voice reminds us that everyone needs to engage in this conversation. We all have a role to play. Every voice is necessary.

As we pause to remember Dr. King’s legacy today, let us hear and listen closely to his voice and its echo. Its call-to-action has not faded over time. While it still resonates, it can still bring more people to the conversation, and can, in its reverberation, inspire us to action.

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Hannah Morris

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.