Honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., SiriusXM is ringing in a series of special programming on the brink of the nationwide holiday.

The Press Pool — Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration

This year marks the 50th anniversary of King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize on what would have been his 85th birthday. Despite being such a historic figure, there is much about the iconic man that most don’t know about. Take his name for example. SiriusXM Urban View host, Joe Madison explained to fellow host Julie Mason that King was born ‘Michael King,’ changing his name later on in life to honor the Lutheran reformation leader ‘Martin Luther.’ In fact, his father also changed his name consequently to honor his son. The two SiriusXM hosts sat down on Mason’s Press Pool show to discuss King’s legacy including the fact that he has far more amazing speeches than just his March on Washington one, better known as his ‘I Have a Dream‘ speech.

Madison also explained the history of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, noting that it was originally John Conyers who introduced the bill to first commemorate King with a holiday right after he was assassinated in 1968. How does Madison think we should commemorate the day? To the SiriusXM Urban View host, the day isn’t to be celebrated like the typical holiday with “sales” and such, but to be honored by keeping King’s legacy alive.

“It was not to be a day off, but a day on and a day to teach civic engagement, a day to do things that King would be doing,” Madison said.

Joe Madison speaks with Dr. Bernice King

Giving an update on what’s being done to honor her father, Dr. Bernice King joined Joe Madison’s show this Wednesday to make an exclusive announcement that the King Center is calling for a one-day moratorium on non-violence on the Martin Luther King holiday. “In honor of him, we will not shoot off at the tongue, the fist or the gun. Just one day out of 365 days, I think we can do that. We can begin to have some people think how they are living and leading their lives,” King said.

She also shared her thoughts on the current scandal of King’s photo being manipulated and used for a “twerking party.” “When I first heard about it initially I was appalled, ” she said. “We have to find a way to really connect with the next generation and help them to understand the sacrifices that were made by so many people.”

Thankfully, The Social Network venue owner, Vince McEwen called in to explain how he cancelled the ‘Freedom 2 Twerk’ party, admitting that the usage of King’s likeness under those terms was dishonoring his legacy. Instead he has decided to host a free celebration of the life of Dr. King. “My parents raised me to be a man of high standard,” McEwen said. “I would never sacrifice my integrity for a buck.”

Make It Plain MLK Special

On a special edition of Make it Plain, Mark Thompson welcomes a series of guests to reflect on Reverend King’s triumphs. The Executive Director of United for a Fair Economy, Brian Miller, stops by to chat about the annual “State of the Dream” report, following in the footsteps of the “I have a dream” speech. Author Ian Haney Lopez stops by to talk about his book, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class. Dr. Clayborne Carson, Professor of History and the Stanford University Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, also joins Mark to talk about the life and Legacy of a man who inspired many. Selected in 1985 by the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King to edit and publish the papers of her late husband, Carson has devoted most of his professional life to studying Martin Luther King, Jr., and the movements King inspired.

Thompson also shares his thoughts on how King has personally affected his life. To the SiriusXM Progress host, Dr. King has made a mark in history that is simply incomparable.

“I would not be here if not for Dr. King,” Thompson said. “Dr. King raised America to its highest and most noble spirits… I think America would have continued to change, had he been allowed to live and fulfill all he was trying to do…. Few if any other Americans have had such an impact who have not been presidents, who have not been elected officials.”

The Best of The Agenda — Martin Luther King Day Special

Ari Rabin-Havt welcomes Gary Younge — columnist at The Nation and author of The Speech: The Story Behind Martin Luther King’s Dream – -to talk about the little known history behind Dr. King’s march on Washington speech. As Younge explains conservatives typically try to name this particular speech “the dream,” and only pay particular attention to one specific line, “judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.”

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