Church, vocal group honor MLKJ through musical drama

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A local church collaborated with vocal artists to celebrate the life and legacy of social activist and humanitarian Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Plymouth Congregational Church of Fort Wayne teamed up with Heartland Sings to present We Are the Dream: A Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

We Are The Dream’s director Janice Furtner envisioned a musical drama filled with narration and the music that propelled the Civil Rights Movement. King’s writings, sermons and speeches were interwoven between Heartland Sing’s vocal anthems. Furtner said King’s words, which were the bedrock of the presentation, “for the ages.”

“I’d hope that we can look at these words not as being historic somewhere in an archive locked away, but that they are our words,” she said. “That they speak to us today as poignantly as they did in his time.”

Ennis Brown Jr., who plays Martin Luther King Jr. in the drama, performs an oration of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He agrees with Furtner that King’s message is still relevant.

“It may sound cliché, but love,” he said. “Love is the ultimate deterrent against evil and hatred and just destruction. Only light can drive away darkness. Hate can’t drive away hate. Only love can drive away hate. Love is a universal message. No matter what you’re going through or what’s going on in society, just take the moment to love each other as if you want to love yourself and everything should be just okay.”

There will be several encores of We Are The Dream in February for Black History Month. The Allen County Library will be hosting a performance on February 19.

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