Martin Luther King, Jr. Had Coffee And He Had Tea

I have a coffee.


Claypool and MLK, 1961

One revolution begets another. While this space can’t comment on how good Martin Luther King, Jr’s cups of coffee were, it does know that coffee, and tea, found its way to the center of his many talks with family, police, activists and leaders.

It is reported that Martin Luther King, Jr, – man, husband, father, pastor, civil rights activist – had a major defining moment while he was making himself a cup of coffee one evening. Reported on, this night was in Montgomery Alabama on January 27, 1956.

MLK at home.

“As King’s wife, Coretta, and 10-week-old daughter, Yolanda, slept in the master bedroom nearby, the voice on the other end of the line said: “N, we’re tired of your mess. And if you aren’t out of this town in three days, we’re going to blow up your house and blow your brains out.” Shaken, King went to the kitchen, made himself a cup of coffee, but soon buried his face in his hands. He began to pray aloud: “Lord, I’m down here trying to do what’s right … But … I must confess … I’m losing my courage.”


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., left, has a coffee break with Chicago Police Superintendent O.W. Wilson in Wilson’s office at 11th and State Street in Chicago on January 27, 1966.

Coffee and prayer helped soothed the concerns of the late Dr. King, Jr.  No doubt, both emboldened his physical and spiritual self to stand up for what he heard from an inner voice “Martin Luther, stand up for truth. Stand up for justice. Stand up for righteousness.”


However, we each stand up in our personal and professional lives, there exists what we turn to, to bolster us, to be a helper along our way. Dr. King was no different, coffee enabled him as it enables us in the revolution of ourselves and passions.