Thursday, 21 January 2010

Thoughts on Leadership - Martin Luther King Day

Last Sunday evening I was driving from my home in South Wales to the North in preparation for delivering a learning programme on Monday.

Amongst the many programmes I heard on the radio (it's a long drive!) was the BBC's Americana In the final segment, a group of Chicago primary school children imagined that Martin Luther King was still alive. What would they ask him if they had had the opportunity?

I'm not sure why this segment made such an impact on me, - but it did so, to the extent that I have transposed the audio from BBC i-player and reproduce it here. (Sorry BBC for reproducing without permission - but it's all good marketing!)

"How did you feel when you could not play with your white friends anymore?"
"How did it feel when people were mean to you?"
"When you were marching, did you think you might get killed or arrested?"
"Was it hard for you to protest against all the unfair laws?"
"Out of all the unfair things, if you could pick one, which one did you dislike the most?"
"When you were a child, did you know you were going to change the world?"
"Do you think that some laws should still be changed?"
"Why did you tell people not to ride the bus?"
"Do you think fighting with words is better than fighting with fists?"
"How did you get so many people to follow your example?"
"What was your very first speech & how old were you?"
"What was your favourite speech you wrote?"
"How did you get to make your speech in Washington DC?"
"When you marched in Washington, what did it feel like to be in front of millions of people?"
"How did you feel..."
"Were you afraid..."
"Were you nervous when you were out there?"
"What went through your head when you gave your 'I Have a Dream' speech?"
"What part of your 'I Have a Dream' speech do you think got people to listen the most?"
"After the speech, where did you go and what did you feel like?"

"What else are you going to change?"

Americana, BBC Radio 4 Sunday 17th Jan 2010