Dr. Williams Speaks as MLK
By Drew Luther
On Jan. 25 Dr. T Leon Williams gave a monologue called ‘The View from the Mountaintop: What Would Dr. King Say Today?’ in the Pickle Conference Room at Roanoke College. The monologue was an exploration of how Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would view the current state of America.
Dr. Williams, acting as Dr. King, spoke passionately, emphasizing love and truth. Also mentioned were restorative justice, courage, hope, and a need for both the oppressors and oppressed to draw from the same well and go beyond the waters of hate and injustice. He adopted the rhythm and sentence structure of Dr. King’s speeches and worked to keep them authentic.
Dr. Williams ended the monologue with a request that at his funeral the eulogy would not mention the awards he won, but instead the good things that he did for people and what he fought for.
This was the second time that Dr. Williams presented ‘The View from the Mountaintop’, and it is the third monologue that he has written. It is set to be published as a book soon.
After the monologue Dr. Williams answered questions from the audience. In one of the answers he said that he struggled to say America can love itself considering what has been going on. He also was not sure how Dr. King could work to build America up when his supporters were getting beaten up and killed.
For those interested in learning more about Dr. King, Dr. Williams suggested referring to interviews rather than books because the interviews are directly from Dr. King while the books are other people’s understandings of what Dr. King said.
Dr. Williams also said that those hoping to get involved should choose to work with small grassroots organizations because those are what affect real change and not to get caught up on what is on television since grassroots stories never seem to reach national media.
After questions, Dr. Williams stayed to meet and talk with members of the audience personally and hand out contact information for those interested in talking to him more.
Dr. Williams has over 20 years of experience in multicultural affairs at universities and is a youth pastor at the First Missionary Baptist Church in Concord, North Carolina. The monologue was sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Black Student Alliance, Chaplain’s Office, Colket Center, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., RC Interfaith Council, Student Government Association, and the Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Student Affairs.