As we celebrate the national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let us remember a film that debuted 24 years ago on Jan. 12. Our Friend, Martin is nostalgic cinema that every 90’s kid recalls watching in their adolescence.
The animated film was released Jan. 12, 1999 and it features some of the most prominent Black voices of our time including LeVar Burton, Samuel L. Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg and Angela Bassett. The film follows the story of a Black teenager named Miles, who is portrayed by Robert Ri’chard from Harlem and One On One. Miles goes on a class field trip to the museum to learn about what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did for humanity, but he’d much rather play baseball instead. The story continues with two teens who are sent back in time to meet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at several points of his life.
The animated and educational movie was watched in classrooms across the nations. Our Friend, Martin was another way to explore the teachings of King before the national holiday, MLK Day, would be celebrated at home. There are countless documentaries, films and stories that detail King’s dynamic life, but this classic movie is one that will resonate amongst millennials forever. From the upbeat music to the cultural relevance, we could all relate to Miles and the story of Our Friend, Martin.
Take some time to rewatch this classic movie while celebrating the time off with family and friends on MLK Day, which falls on Monday, Jan. 16 this year. Make it a reflective time to watch the hour long film while dissecting the systemic issues our country still faces in 2023.
Our Friend, Martin can be streamed on YouTube for free below.