Safiya Charles

In the summer of 1979, Stevie Wonder called Coretta Scott King to tell her about a dream he had.

“I said to her, you know, ‘I had a dream about this song. And I imagined in this dream I was doing this song. We were marching, too, with petition signs to make for Dr. King's birthday to become a national holiday,’" he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in 2011.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow was excited, but doubtful.

The song in question was Wonder’s 1980 release “Happy Birthday,” now lovingly known to African Americans as the Black version of the traditional song.

“I wish you luck,” Scott King replied. “We're in a time where I don't think it's going to happen," Wonder recounted.

“I said, ‘Well, no, I really believe it will.’”

He was right. Wonder and his 1980 single would play an outsize role in the creation of Martin Luther King Day; the first national holiday honoring a Black American, celebrated on the third Monday of January each year.

More here...