BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: This past week, one of the tributes to Martin Luther King Jr. was a family affair. Reverend Michael Haynes, the long-time minister at Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston, was a friend of the civil rights leader — the two worked together at the church in the 1950s. This year, Reverend Haynes invited his brother, renowned jazz drummer Roy Haynes, to be part of a special musical service honoring King. Reverend Haynes talked with us about how music inspired the civil rights movement.
Reverend MICHAEL E. HAYNES (Preaching to Congregation): Today, I invite you to march, as one of the world’s greatest jazz drummers salutes my friend Martin, the drum major for justice. My oldest living brother, Roy Owen Haynes.
Rev. HAYNES (Senior Minister, Twelth Baptist Church of Boston): Dr. King liked jazz. What we may call rhythm and blues and jazz are almost first cousins to the traditional music of the black church.
I think music is just a wonderful opportunity to bring humans together. And what it did in the civil rights movement — it was the means through which they got inspiration and challenge. It was like an injection into the civil rights movement to be able to sing spirituals and patriotic songs and everything else.
(Preaching to Congregation): You can put your own words in there. So, for all of you who are sanctified, you could just think of all of the words you could be putting into that meter and into that beat. [Singing] “Da, da, da, da, da,” you see? “Lord, how I love you ’cause you’re good to me.”
CONGREGATION MEMBER: It was one of the most unusual and exciting Martin Luther King programs I’ve been to in my life. I feel like I was in the presence of genius tonight.