Martin Luther King Play
To place an order for script and performing rights certificate please scroll down to the bottom of this page
Cast of 13. This play covers Martin Luther King's life and his amazing contribution to the civil rights movement - towards equality and justice for his people. I have included numerous quotations (18!) from his speeches - his words were so powerful and his message so strong - I deliberately included as many as I could, covering his struggle against discrimination and segregation, against poverty and social injustice - bringing his people the vote and a true sense of their own worth - as equals in the world.
Also available, interview with Martin Luther King and four other main characters from his life. This is a 'guided reading play' - 6 speakers with a quiz; and can be found either as a free script from Free Scripts section of the website, or as part of a set of 5 mini plays (6 speakers each plus quizzes - Famous People of the 20th Century - including Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon and Famous Women (Helen Keller, Marie Curie, Mother Theresa, Anne Frank, Margaret Thatcher and Princess Di) - Click on UK History Assemblies and G.R., then Guided Reading Playscripts, then Famous People of the 20th Century - scroll down to bottom of sample texts to place an order.
Narrator: But did this put you off?
Coretta: What? A mere near-fatal stabbing? You obviously don't know my husband! We toured India as soon as he was fit to stand - and his belief in non-violence to bring about change was more than reinforced by what he saw and heard. Gandhi's life work had not been in vain.
MLK: So I was mighty impressed by the stand - or should I say ‘sit-in' - taken by those students in North Carolina. So much for Whites Only at lunch counter seating areas! They sat and refused to move.
Coretta: And guess who joined in? My husband of course! And where did he end up? In jail! Again! You know, he went to jail 30 times in his career! You could say it became something of a bad habit!
Narrator: And who did you then receive a phone call from on this occasion?
Coretta: None other than John F. Kennedy himself! Although not yet president, as presidential candidate he still had a lot of influence and had my husband out of jail in no time.
Narrator: And it certainly didn't do his chances of becoming president any harm. If anything, it was the black vote that won him that 1960 election.
MLK: A great man.
Coretta: Indeed. And fortunately one prepared to pick up the phone to damsels in distress!
MLK: Would that be you, my dear?
Coretta: It certainly was! On that Good Friday, when you led that march through downtown Birmingham - only one of the most segregated cities in America! That Bull Connor, commissioner of public safety, was never going to welcome you with open arms!
MLK: Hardly! More like fire hoses and vicious dogs! Hundreds of demonstrators arrested - and the man wouldn't even speak to me!
Coretta: No, he preferred to throw you into jail, no questions asked! And then probably would have thrown away the key
Narrator: Had it not been for President Kennedy's intervention!
MLK: But it did give me time to write that nine thousand word letter to America - saying the time of waiting for change was over and that we would continue our efforts until we had achieved justice.
Narrator: What people will do to get time to write a letter!
MLK: No laughing matter, I assure you. I was just one of over 3,000 blacks jailed in those Birmingham demonstrations. And then there were the children ..
Narrator: May 2nd. 1963. A six year old arrested! Can you believe it? Her crime? Her skin colour!
Coretta: And another 450 children arrested that same day! Unbelievable!
Narrator: Things were getting right out of hand. And then that march on May 7th. Two and a half thousand peaceful protestors subjected to the worst police brutality.
MLK: But this time such acts were captured by T.V. cameras, for the whole world to see! Those Birmingham officials had no choice but to back down and agree to some desegregation.