Danielle Brooks honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for “listening to Black women”

Danielle Brooks is sharing the longstanding history between gospel legend Mahalia Jackson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in honor of MLK day.  

On Monday, Brooks posted a behind-the scenes video shot on the set of her upcoming Lifetime film, Robin Roberts Presents: The Mahalia Jackson Story.

“Martin and Mahalia had a very close sacred friendship, which is one of the things I’m most proud of highlighting in our production. We honor King today and everyday,” wrote Brooks in the caption on Instagram. “Thank you Dr. King, for risking your life for our freedom. Freedom to create, to tell our stories, and to just simply be who we are. And also…Thank you for listening to Black women.”

The Queen of Gospel Mahalia Jackson sang at the 1963 March on Washington, where King gave his most famous speech in front of more than 250,000 people. As he began to struggle discussing racial tensions and freedom for Black Americans, Brooks told of how Jackson called out five inspirational words. 

“A lot of people don’t know that there would not be the famous ‘I Have Dream’ speech without Mahalia Jackson. She shouted out ‘Tell them about the dream,"” said Brooks in the video. “Mahalia Jackson was the voice for the people. Her music moved people. It did something. It changed people’s hearts. We have to, have to remember Mahalia Jackson.” 

Lifetime’s The Mahalia Jackson Story arrives Feb. 3, and is expected to follow Jackson’s entire life including her journey to become one of gospel music’s most respected figures. The “Move on Up a Little Higher” singer was the first gospel singer to perform at Carnegie Hall and was an active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, where she sang at numerous rallies. 

By Rachel George
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