Instrument of Change: Reflecting upon KSPS’ recent broadcast Honoring Dr. King

click to enlarge Latrice Williams is one of many local performers and speakers featured in Honoring Dr. King. - COURTESY KSPS
Courtesy KSPS
Latrice Williams is one of many local performers and speakers featured in Honoring Dr. King.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a powerful speechwriter and speaker, sparking a movement that has ebbed, flowed, flared up and persists nearly 60 years later because the “promises of democracy” he dreamt of (and wrote about in his famous “March on Washington” speech) have not been fulfilled for all Americans.

Beyond King's words, however, we are inspired by his voice, rising and falling with the passion of his conviction that “all men are created equal.” Because, as celebrated poet Maya Angelou once said, “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”

Powerful words, powerful voices. KSPS’ Jan. 17 creation and airing of Honoring Dr. King offers both.

One standout of the broadcast is Shadle Park High Student JaNese Howard singing “Rise Up.” Her singing exemplifies what singer Nina Simone meant when she described the human voice as music’s “only pure instrument.” Howard’s performance was that powerful.

So too was Stephy Nobles-Beans’ rich reading of her own poetry, narrated as much by her sonorous voice as her exuberant facial and hand gestures. Experiencing poetry this way was a rare treat.

Hosted by NAACP President Kiantha Duncan — another powerful speaker — Honoring Dr. King amplifies local voices in the community. Moreover, it calls upon listeners to be, as King wrote, “eternally vigilant,” especially with regard to the right to vote.

The half-hour Inland Sessions’ production was beset with and overcame weather and COVID-related issues to nonetheless educate, inspire and remind us that the instrument of change lies within.

Watch the archived broadcast at

Nate Bargatze @ Bing Crosby Theater

Fri., May 20, 7 & 9:30 p.m.
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About The Author

Carrie Scozzaro

Carrie Scozzaro spent nearly half of her career serving public education in various roles, and the other half in creative work: visual art, marketing communications, graphic design, and freelance writing, including for publications throughout Idaho, Washington, and Montana.