Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has always been one of my heroes. The political and racial climate in the US the past few years has made me wonder what MLK’s legacy would be like today if he hadn’t been assassinated. Would the Civil Rights Act have been passed? Would he have run for public office? President? What would an MLK presidency look like? What would he have thought of Barrack Obama’s presidency and the response to it? What would he think of the progress and remaining problems with civil rights we still face today?
Jack White III of Goober & the Peas, The Upholsterers, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and Third Man Records. Jack has been one of the biggest creative influences for me both in visual art and music. His work has shown me the power and beauty in simplicity and that ease and convenience doesn’t make you better or more creative. He led me to learn about the blues and De Stijl, the essence of modern music and art. His effort to constantly create and preserve lost or forgotten music and techniques inspires me to keep creating, experimenting and learning.
Malala Yousafzai is a 20 year old Pakistani woman who became a girls education advocate writing for BBC Urdu when she was 11. When she was 15, a Taliban gunman entered her school bus and shot her in the head. After surviving and recovering, Malala delivered a speech to the UN on her 16th birthday continuing her fight for education for all. In 2014, she became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at age 17. She continues to advocate for education and equality throughout the world.
The Godmother of Rock’n’Roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a pioneer with the electric guitar who defied racial, gender and sexual norms of the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s to reinvent gospel music and create the beginnings of rock music. She is one of the most influential musicians to modern American music today.