DER Weekends: dream hampton on Martin Luther King’s legacy and the story of her name

On Detroit Evening Report Weekends, we take a step away from the news of the week and spend some time with the community members who make up Detroit’s rich culture and identity.

Headshot of dream hampton

dream hampton

In the latest episode of DER Weekends, WDET’s Juma Sei talks with filmmaker and native Detroiter dream hampton about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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In June of 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke at Cobo Hall — using a refrain that would later become famous as a part of his speech at the March on Washington a few months later: “I have a dream.”

Activists, civil rights organizations and city officials marked the 60th anniversary of that speech with the unveiling of a monument to Dr. King at Hart Plaza.

But many people are revisiting King’s legacy and challenging the narrative that paints him as more of an orator than a radical.

Filmmaker and native Detroiter dream hampton is one of those people. She says Dr. King’s radical legacy had a clear impact on the political people and movements that shaped her.

hampton is probably best known as the executive producer of the 2019 documentary series Surviving R. Kelly — a scathing chronicle of the singer’s decades-long history of preying on young women and girls. The work earned hampton an Emmy nomination and a Peabody Award. She was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time in 2019.

hampton spoke with WDET’s Juma Sei about how she thinks about Dr. King’s legacy today, how it shaped her as a product of Detroit, and the origins of the name “dream.”

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.