August 28th, 1968, at Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, this was the location of one of history’s most memorable speeches, Dr. Martin Luther King’s 17 minute “I Have a Dream” speech was heard for the first time in front of 200,000 supporters and has been ranked the top American speech of the 20th century. Dr. King’s speech called for racial equality and an end to discrimination in America. The speech resonated through the hearts of human beings around the world. Yesterday, January 15th, was the Dr. Kings’s but today is the day named after him.
Over his lifetime MLK wore many hats but is known mostly as a human rights activists in the United States. His influence is still being felt to this date well beyond his passing as well not only in America but around the world as well. Throughout the years we have seen a number of shoes influenced by Dr. King and his non-violent movement for equality in civil rights. The first that we see is the AND1 ME8 Tribute uploaded onto the wiki by #sneakerholic pdxjedi. Here were the reasons behind the sneaker.
“In honor and recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, basketball apparel company AND 1 has released the ME8 Tribute Collection. In commemoration of MLK’s birth year, the company has made only 1929 pairs. These sneakers were designed for Golden State Warriors’ guard Monta Ellis first signature shoe with AND 1. According to AND 1, they are packaged in a special collector’s edition box with a metal certificate of authenticity. The brand has also released that a unique message is woven on the back of the tongue.”
Another NBA star that has paid homage to Dr. King is the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant. The past few seasons the star’s signature shoe has been given the MLK treatment, generally worn right on Martin Luther King day in America. Seen above is the Zoom Kobe IV MLK tribute shoe. This past MLK Day, January 17th, 2011, Bryant and his teammates wore the Black History Month version of the Zoom Kobe VI to honor the man and his efforts.
A key figure to world history, the man’s reach goes far beyond sneakers. No word yet if/when we will see any special basketball inspired makeups for today or Black History Month, but we expect brands to pay their respect in some way in 2012.