Martin Luther King Jr loved South Florida, and visited the region many times throughout his career. He was a contemporary of some of Miami's most upstanding citizens, like Father Theodore Gibson of Overtown, as well as some of our most venerable party starters, like WMBM disc jockey Milton "Butterball" Smith. He even wrote an early version of the famous "I Have A Dream Speech" at the Hampton House Hotel and Villas in Miami's historic Brownsville neighborhood. Today we celebrate the man, the myth, and the legend with the top ten civil rights anthems, commemorating the legacy of the struggle, and to remember that it continues to this day.
10. The Roots - "Can't Turn Me Round"
We may have a black president, but America is still an institutionally racist nation. The struggle for justice continues to this day, so it's a good thing the Roots are here to remind us of the past and help lead us into the future.
9. Sam Cooke - "A Change Is Gonna Come"
When Sam Cooke walked away from the gospel band he fronted, the Soul Stirrers, he crooned his way into America's pop charts with a hit called "You Send Me." But with "A Change Is Gonna Come," he dug into the very soul of the nation and delivered greater truth than any court.
8. James Brown - "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud"
One of the greatest singers and band leaders in the history of American music gave the world one of the funkiest positive affirmations in recorded sound at a time when it was dangerous to say what he was saying, and he did so fearlessly.
7. Nina Simone - "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free"
Anybody at all can relate to the sentiments expressed in this song, which helped it resonate with the masses in a way that propelled the activist movement to the forefront of the nation's consciousness.