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I Once Met Martin Luther King by Nicky Haslam

Regulars | Summer 2017

Martin Luther King and Coretta, 1958

'She waves across the room and, in a moment, at our sides, are standing Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta'

When writing for such erudite publications as this, it’s always wise to try to strip the prose to the bone, not to employ too many (if any) adjectives and names, or face the fury of editors wielding their red pens. On the other hand, when I perform my cabaret, I am always encouraged to add more anecdotes between the songs, as ‘people love them’. I’m sure the former is the correct formula, but I’m forced to say the latter applies in this case. What follows happened more than fifty years ago but, if the details are somewhat hazy, the cast of characters involved in that unforgettable occasion remain clear as daylight – and I must unashamedly name-drop and lay on the elegiac adjectives with a trowel. It’s an early spring evening in New York, in 1963. America is at the height of the euphoria of the Kennedy administration. If most...

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