"They were each born with the gift of gospel
Martin's voice kept people in their seats, but also sent their praises soaring
Mahalia's voice was brass-and-butter - strong and smooth at the same time
With Martin's sermons and Mahalia's songs, folks were free to shout, to sing their joy"
By Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney
Maryland Black-Eye Susan Nominee
Martin Luther King Jr. grew up listening to his father's sermons. He had the gift to lift people from their seats and set them soaring. Mahalia Jackson was born with the gift of gospel and through her powerful voice, her songs lifted people to soar just as high. "Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song" follows these two inspirations throughout their lives until they meet at one pivotal point in history. On 28 August 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Mahalia Jackson told Martin Luther King Jr. to tell the people about his "dream". Martin abandoned the speech he had prepared and told the people about his dream. That "dream" will forever will in history and one day will be realized by all.