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The Drum Major Instinct in Staten Island

Directed by Bryan Doerries

Composed and Arranged by Phil Woodmore

About the play

  • The Drum Major Instinct by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    On February 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered this sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. In it, King speaks to his congregation about the destructive forces of “the drum major instinct,” defined as the desire to be first, to be recognized, and to receive distinction. This instinct, according to King, leads to “the most tragic expressions of man's inhumanity to man,” including white supremacy, violence, consumerism, and unjust wars. King challenges his congregants and the world to harness this “drum major instinct” for good, to be first in love, first in righteousness, first in generosity, first in justice, and above all, first in service to others.

Cast Members

  • Jumaane Williams Headshot

    Jumaane Williams

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