6. Kid President: Yes, We Can Live the Dream
“Ain't gonna let nobody, turn me around,
Turn me around, turn me around,
Ain't gonna let nobody, turn me round,
I just keep on a-walkin', keep on a-talkin',
Marching on to freedom land."
The Roots version of famed civil rights freedom song “Ain’t Nobody Turn Me Round”.
Repeat after me: yes, we can!
That sentiment is at the core of "Kid President” Robby Novak's message. It’s all about encouragement and knowing that, yes, we can make the world more awesome, more equal and more just.
These are ideas made famous by so many others before him, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The difference is that, in a digital age where even our youngest members of society have access to tablet devices and YouTube, Kid President is creating content that translates these ideas for all audiences, regardless of age. In fact, while Kid President is renowned for his “Pep Talk”, which has nearly 40 million views on YouTube, one of my favorite Kid President videos explains the story of Martin Luther King Jr.
"It's funny to think about because now we know his name so well, but, at one time, he was just a kid,” Novak notes. "Like maybe you're a kid watching this. Well, he was a kid too."
Kid President points to how, instead of spreading the hate, Dr. King spread the love. Where people were hurting, he stepped in to help. The point that he drives home is that Dr. King kept going, regardless of the adversity he encountered. He kept marching on to the beat of his own drum - playing a tune of acceptance and togetherness.
"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred,” King proclaims in his famed “I Have A Dream” speech. It’s a call to action that is just as relevant today as it was then.
While it’s difficult to do Dr. King’s legacy justice, his words, including the Letter from Birmingham Jail, and his prophetic I Have Been to the Mountaintop speech, do. Through Kid President’s mention of Dr. King to a younger audience, one can only hope that it opens the door for kids to hear these speeches, to read and learn more about a man who spread the ideal of shared prosperity, regardless of race, religion or creed.
Kid President proves that you’re never too young to change the world for the better. What will make it go even faster, he adds, is if we all work together. That idea is central to Dr. King’s legacy. As tough as it may be - as many roadblocks and challenges as we may encounter - we need to know that, yes, we can come together to fuel progress. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, an idea that Kid President champions today and that Dr. King championed in his lifetime decades ago.
"But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.