It’s Martin Luther King Day, and Tyrese Gibson is joining with the King Center, Bernice King (MLK’s daughter), Keke Palmer and others for the #KINGSDREAM campaign. Today, explain what Dr. King means to you on social media, using the hashtags #KINGSDREAM and #IAMFREEDOM.
We recently talked about some of the amazing things Dr. King accomplished during his life, and the #KINGSDREAM campaign is both a way to keep the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s legacy alive and get people involved in their communities. Former MTV VJ Tyrese, whose album Open Invitation has been nominated for a Best R&B Album GRAMMY, gave MTV Act an exclusive interview on why this campaign matters and how the Kings are family to him. You can also check out Bernice King’s vid on what this day is all about!
ACT: Why did you decide to get involved with the #KINGSDREAM campaign?
TYRESE: I’ve spent a lot of time with the King family, Dexter, Martin, Bernice. I’ve been very intrigued with their father and doing research on the Civil Rights Movement. I’ve pretty much hung out with most of the people who contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. I’ve been to the Lorraine Motel three times, where [Dr. King] was assassinated. When I got the call about supporting this, it was a no-brainer for me. This is my family.
ACT: What does Dr. King’s legacy mean to you?
TYRESE: I appreciate his transparency. Normally, when we hear of somebody doing something selfless on the level that Dr. King did, we associate that to lines of the Scripture. It’s just powerful.
ACT: How can young people get involved in #KINGSDREAM and the King Center?
TYRESE: They can go to the website and just do as much research as possible online to wrap their head around all the dynamics, all the different areas they can get involved in. We need great hands on-deck, people who are passionate about making a difference.The campaign is social media along with people physically doing things at the King Center as well.
ACT: Last year we wrote about you taking part in a Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Can you tell us about that?
TYRESE: Again, it was one of those very significant moments in my life, where I’m now walking in the same footsteps as Dr. King. It’s life-changing. Scary, but life-changing. I stood at pretty much every podium that Dr. King has ever consistently preached at, and here I was at home doing research on Selma and the voters’ registration issue that happened 40 years ago. And the next thing I knew, I got a phone call from Martin Luther King III, and he said, “You know, Jesse Jackson, myself, a bunch of us are going to be out there marching from Selma to Montgomery. It’s the same thing. They’re trying to manipulate the votes. They’re trying to create voter fraud. They’re trying to make challenges for people to register out here, like they did forty years ago.” Reverend Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, all of us were out there marching on behalf of letting everybody have the opportunity to vote.
ACT: A big part of the #KINGSDREAM CAMPAIGN is going to be on Twitter. How have you used Twitter to create change?
TYRESE: Every Tweet counts, you know. It’s social media, but it’s also one of the social tools of marketing. You may not purchase everything someone tries to sell you, but marketing makes people aware of things. Whether you want to participate in this movement or not, at least you’re aware of it on social media.
I want to say thank you for this interview, and thank you to all the people reading this. Please go to Google and start doing research on whatever it takes to become a part of this very powerful movement the King family has orchestrated. Everyone should know I’m in full support of it.
The King Center
Learn more about nonviolence and Dr. King's life at The King Center.