With a resemblance to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in appearance, mannerism and speech, special guest speaker Jim Lucas gave McCallie students a true sense of the life and times of Dr. King Thursday in a school-wide assembly.
An accomplished actor and public speaker from Louisiana, Mr. Lucas is an expert on Dr. King. He has traveled the world sharing facts and insight on the American Civil Rights hero and reciting parts of Dr. King’s most well-known speeches.
Mr. Lucas began his presentation with Rosa Parks, the black woman in Montgomery, Ala., who refused to give up her bus seat for a white person in 1955. Her protest started the Montgomery Bus Boycott, initiated by the Montgomery Improvement Association and led by its president, Dr. King, a new minister in town at the time.
From that point, Mr. Lucas chronicled Dr. King’s life and his involvement as the leader of the Civil Rights movement, from the Birmingham lunch counter sit-ins to the March on Washington to the Selma-to-Montgomery march.
Dressed in a black suit with a white shirt and thin black tie, exactly as Dr. King appeared in the black and white photos many of the students have seen in history books, Mr. Lucas provided insight to important events in the movement. His recitation of parts of two of Dr. King’s most well-known speeches, “I Have a Dream” and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” were spot-on in delivery, diction and expression.
The appreciation for Mr. Lucas’ presentation was evident from the standing ovation he received from the audience, but more so from the number of students and teachers alike who lined up to shake his hand following the event.