In November this past year, I was presented with an opportunity to see The Mountain Top, a groundbreaking Broadway experience. Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson were electrifying in this two-person production about the fictional final moments of Martin Luther King Jr. before he was assassinated. Extremely original, The Mountain Top play takes place in a hotel room one late evening in the 60's. Jackson is touching as an iconic Martin Luther King Jr., while Bassett is brilliant as the spontaneous yet reverent fictional maid. The production manages to stun the audience, simultaneously inciting hearty laughs and heartbreaking tears. Essentially, The Mountain Top is a story about Martin Luther King Jr. as an ordinary man, a man that the public may have never seen. We manage to see Martin Luther King Jr. not as an intangible, iconic figure in history, but as a sweet yet complex individual with flaws just like any one of us. The play also teaches the audience profound lessons about American history, and explores the possibility of our own unique abilities to change our future for the better.
As the Martin Luther King holiday is rapidly approaching, I ponder just how far people have come in the strive to end racial tension throughout the world. Although the world obviously isn't even near perfect, there have been radical changes since the 60's that many may have thought were impossible back then - like the election of a black president. I like to imagine that we will soon reach a dreamlike universe where everyone, regardless of his background, is easily accepted. With the installment of the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Washington, maybe we can be reminded to be thankful for how far we have come to bond together as people with one common interest -- to live life to the fullest.