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Leah Johnson is a University of Michigan- Dearborn graduate and she has a B.A. d
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on Wednesday, 15 August 2012
in Today in Black History

The Drum Major Instinct- Be Great by Serving Others

Dr. Martin Luther King was a man of powerful words.

Although I wasn’t around during the time that he changed the world by means of his speeches and sermons, it’s been archived through the King Center Imaging Project, which is a traveling exhibit. On Tuesday, the exhibit, courtesy of JP Morgan Chase, was installed at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

I had an opportunity to familiarize myself with the exhibit and, aside from reading the famous “I Have a Dream” speech and seeing a copy of Dr. King’s Morehouse college transcript (believe it or not, Dr. King got “C’s” in Language &Thinking, Reading & Composition, and Public Speaking), I was most impressed with The Drum Major Instinct, a sermon given by Dr. King. This sermon emphasizes that we all have the ability to be great, but that greatness is a matter of service. Here is an excerpt:

“And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don't have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir, Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant.”

Click here for the full sermon and after reading it, ask yourself:

How will I use the drum major instinct within myself?

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Leah Johnson is a University of Michigan- Dearborn graduate and she has a B.A. degree in Communication. In college, she minored in Psychology and African American Studies after developing a love her history, culture and African American literature. She currently works in the Communication and Marketing Department at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Two of Leah's "She-ros" are Ida B. Wells Barnett, the fearless journalist who exposed the truth about lynching, and Madame CJ Walker, the first self-made African American female millionaire. "I love these women because they were determined and did what was necessary to succeed and defend the truth. That lets me know that I can be a successful African American woman as well," said Leah.

In her spare time, Leah enjoys traveling, bowling, shoe shopping, and spending time with friends and family.