There are few living musical legends who have had as powerful an impact on the Civil Rights era as Stevie Wonder. His most well-known artistic contribution to the Civil Rights Movement was his song “Happy Birthday,” a tune devoted to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many credit the song with helping to galvanize national support that eventually led to a federal holiday honoring King.
When Roland Martin got a chance to catch up with Wonder, the two spoke on why the musician chose to boycott Florida after the Trayvon Martin verdict, his thoughts on gun control, and much more.
“If the guns weren’t so accessible,” Wonder said, “and if there were tighter roles dealing with guns, and if all of the politicians could unanimously agree that we really believe in the perpetuation of life and not the destruction, we would truly be moving forward.”
He also touched on the Jay Z/Harry Belafonte flare up saying that it hinders the actual conversation when it comes to civil rights rather than helping it, and there is always a different approach to disagreeing. “I feel like if we have any issue with anyone or anything,” said Wonder, “we need to get with that person and speak with them privately. Because we’re all in the same family, I’m sure there are many things that Jay Z has done and is doing that he [Belafonte] knows nothing about, and I’m sure there is some history that he knows about Mr. Belafonte, but not all of it. When that kind of thing happens everyone loses.”
Listen to the interview below: