SERVANT LEADERSHIP & The full text of MLK JR.’s Drum Major Instinct Speech

“Dodge gets pushback for Super Bowl commercial using Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice” The Washington Post

Dodge aired a commercial for its Ram truck series during Sunday’s Super Bowl featuring a portion of a sermon from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that has drawn a backlash on social media. The decision to allow King’s sermon to be used was made by his estate.

The ad begins by noting that King delivered the sermon – known as “The Drum Major Instinct” – on Feb. 4, 1968, 50 years ago today. In the same sermon, delivered the same year he was assassinated, King also advised people not to spend too much on cars.

According to Stanford University’s reprinting of his sermon, this particular sermon was an adaptation of the 1952 homily ”Drum-Major Instincts” by J. Wallace Hamilton, who was a well-known, white liberal Methodist preacher at the time.

Here is the text from the sermon that was used as a voice-over in the commercial:

“If you want to be important – wonderful. If you want to be recognized – wonderful. If you want to be great – wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness. . . . By giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great . . . by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great. . . . You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know [Einstein’s] theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.”

His sermon, delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where he was a pastor, referenced the biblical passage Matthew 23:11-12, “The greatest among you will be your servant.”

… What the Super Bowl ad doesn’t include is the part from King’s sermon where he warns against the dangers of spending too much when buying a car and not trying to keep up with the Joneses.

“Do you ever see people buy cars that they can’t even begin to buy in terms of their income? You’ve seen people riding around in Cadillacs and Chryslers who don’t earn enough to have a good T-Model Ford,” King said in his sermon. “But it feeds a repressed ego. You know, economists tell us that your automobile should not cost more than half of your annual income. So if you make an income of $5,000, your car shouldn’t cost more than about $2,500. That’s just good economics.”

King concluded that sermon by imagining his own funeral, saying he wanted to be remembered for doing good deeds, including serving others. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of King, who was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968…

Read more at … http://www.nola.com/tv/index.ssf/2018/02/dodge_martin_luther_king_comme.html