40 years ago, on Feb. 9th 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, preached what might be considered his own eulogy. It was called “A Drum Major’s Instinct.” In it, he described how he envisioned his funeral. I first heard this shortly after I touched the very cart they used to carry his casket through town. I stood there for about 15 minutes and a chill ran through my body, and as I walked up the ramp and heard Dr. King say, “I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long.”

On the screen they were playing video footage of his funeral, I saw the cart my hand was just on, I saw the clips of his life, his dedication and his struggle to bring us together as a race. You see, MLK faced doubters from his own race, people who did not support his cause.

On the 40th anniversary of this speech, I realize that a new drum major is facing this same struggle. Barack Obama. I saw black people who didn’t support him, the same way blacks didn’t believe in Dr. King. I wonder how they feel now knowing they were on the wrong side of the fence.

So, 40 years after the death of Martin Luther King, who died at the age of 39, we have our greatest chance at a seeing a Black President. This week Obama will accept the nomination for President of the United States in front of one of the largest crowds ever assembled in one place. Do you hear it in his voice?

So today, as we get ready to officially witness the first Black Presidential Nominee, I call us to declare a New Drum Major. A drum major for justice; a drum major for peace; a drum major for righteousness.

Just as Dr. King wanted to be seen.

See the video here:

BlogXilla.com is one of the biggest relationship and entertainment sites on the internet, and has been mentioned and featured in numerous publications including LA Times, TMZ, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, MTV, VH1 and many more. The site focuses on relationships and entertainment news. Xilla’s take on politics and society will be featured weekly on Urban Thought Collective.

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August 24th, 2008 at 10:04 pm thelma says:

This is a stirring speech and it should be required for all high schoolers right along with I have a dream

August 24th, 2008 at 10:16 pm heatmizer says:

Welcome I’ve been on ur site many times wow another great blogger on here!

August 24th, 2008 at 10:56 pm Sooth sayer says:

Hello Xilla!
I have heard of this speech and it is one of his best he knew that he was on his way out and wanted to leave a great mark and let people know his wishes let freedom ring!

August 24th, 2008 at 11:06 pm culturepop says:

Black men have a lot to be proud of right now. Let’s step in line!

August 24th, 2008 at 11:45 pm Philip Giddings says:

I am weary of the MLK comparisons. He should be his own man and that’s how we should look at him it is impossible to live up to anything like that!

August 25th, 2008 at 12:17 am 2know2love says:

history never fails to repeat itself

August 25th, 2008 at 1:30 am Krista Wills says:

@Phillip I agree there is enough pressure as it is there is no one that can represent all black folks, all men, all old civil rights leaders. IT is a new day he can stand on his own make a new path!

August 25th, 2008 at 7:37 am Xilla says:

@Phillip - Martin accomplished a lot but never what Obama has done… not to take anything way from MLK but Obama is MLK’s dream is he not!! Martin said I might not get there with you… but my eyes have seen the glory… So this call for a new drum major is stating that we have a new leader. A new example of what we should strive… not to be like but to be better than both of them. It’s a new prototype.

August 25th, 2008 at 7:47 am Lottie Markus says:

King knew he couldn’t change the world as a president he could only change the world from his platform as a man of the people, down in the streets with them doing the work that needed to be done - I agree this is an amazing speech, especially the parts about Vietnam. But, Barack needs to create his own legacy and he will!

August 25th, 2008 at 9:09 am Jane Kennedy says:

wow i never heard this one
like the other one he did when he said ‘i may not get there with you’ that was powerful but this is humbling - deep!

Oh, and welcome to the new blogger!

August 25th, 2008 at 9:35 am Stephanie says:

This is amazing. I often wonder if he was still alive how he would feel about this historical moment that is upon us. It amazes me that I am going to experience such a historical time.

August 25th, 2008 at 9:59 am Xilla says:

Xillionaire says:
@Jane Kennedy Thanks a lot i’m happy to be here! lol I love it.

@Lottie - If you look at Obama’s past he was a community leader hitting the streets to tackle problems head on in a similar way to MLK. Yes he needs to create his own path, he is and has done that. But at the same time it’s a new leader and prototype for our race. A new leader and a new drum major.

August 25th, 2008 at 10:19 am I AM A MAN says:

Every black man esp should hear this speech

August 25th, 2008 at 10:54 am Tina says:

This brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it. No matter what you just can’t help but to compare the dream with what is about to happen. Wow!

August 25th, 2008 at 11:26 am chica22 says:

I love your perspective. I just visited your site and its pretty provocative. Smart of you to do your political stuff here where we appreciate a good thinking black man :) We welcome you. Keep it comin!

August 25th, 2008 at 12:04 pm Gerald Johnson says:

Damn near brought tears!

August 25th, 2008 at 12:12 pm Ed80 says:


August 25th, 2008 at 12:14 pm Xilla says:

Thanks Chica I appreciate it, this is my home where I declare my intellectual status on my site i’ll keep it sexual you know! lol

August 25th, 2008 at 3:13 pm Jessica Hubbard says:

Welcome! I love your locs!

Great part of my day to listen to that speech - goosebumps

August 25th, 2008 at 4:44 pm Kettle Blk says:

this clip is sad to see the family at the actual funeral. the way they look once his voice comes on is hearbreaking

August 25th, 2008 at 6:00 pm Xilla says:

Thanks Jessica, I appreciate it, I’ve been growing them for about 3 years now. And the speech is chilling isn’t it. Imagine how i felt when I had my hand on the hand made cart they used to push him through the streets.

August 25th, 2008 at 6:55 pm Conrad Sharpe says:

The convention on tv has been overwhelming - all the talk of hope and change has me thinkin it could actually be true!

August 26th, 2008 at 12:49 am nicq says:

man i agree with thelma… i think this speech along with i have a dream are just as significant as lincoln’s speech..if not more important

August 26th, 2008 at 1:26 am lilmamma86 says:

wow its bring tears o my eyes..so powerful!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 26th, 2008 at 2:06 am Mr.Fantastic says:


August 26th, 2008 at 3:12 pm Darryl M. Bell says:

Welcome Brother Xilla!
A good post on one of my favorite sermons.
However, I’m feeling a little like Phillip. I’m uncomfortable with the comparison to Dr. King and the need to place our leaders in a “competition”. I would humbly suggest that the need to refrain from such comparisons was the underlining message in the sermon. The drum major instinct for recognition (ego) can cause someone to live beyond their means. The need to be “important” can be harmful. We all must be mindful of how we can be seduced by advertisers who prey on this quality in all of us.
I don’t see Barack as the realization of Dr. Kings Dream, but a part of it. The Dream is equality for ALL of us. The Dream is justice for ALL of us. The Dream is we ALL be judged by the content of our character.
Dr. Kings civil rights work, accomplishments and legacy has calcified him as one of the greatest human beings to ever walk the planet.
IF Barack gets elected (as I hope, think and pray he will) his work on behalf of the nation and the world will be in addition to, not in comparison with, Dr. King.
Frankly, I wouldn’t put that kind of pressure on Brother Obama.
My friend Cleo Fields put it best at this years State of Black America.
“WEB Dubois taught, so that Rosa Parks could take a seat. Rosa took a seat, so that we could all take a stand. We all took a stand, so that Dr. King could march. Dr King marched, so Jessie could run. Jessi ran, so Obama could WIN!
Hot damn that gets me fired up!

August 26th, 2008 at 5:09 pm Crystal Birch says:

@Darryl that is a powerful line to say the least! And I agree. Let’s not put the brother on the washington monument yet. Just running ain’t enough. Just winning ain’t enough. Being able to systematically change a culture of goverment that is all any of us has known is going to take the work of many. King couldn’t do it alone. He played his part and symbollically passed the baton on to others - many whom we don’t know but that are in the trenches everyday without a news clip to their credit

August 26th, 2008 at 5:34 pm Eunice says:

can’t imagine being that close to history what an experience