Nearly 60 years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Now, the speech can be heard once again through a limited edition, collectible art piece — a talking bobblehead.
In collaboration with the estate of the civil rights leader, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a talking King bobblehead Monday, honoring his life and legacy. The museum said the bobblehead is the first of its kind.
Dressed in a dark suit, King stands at a podium with multiple microphones. The bobblehead features audio clips of the famous speech delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963.
“Dr. King is one of the most frequently requested when it comes to bobbleheads,” said Phil Sklar, co-founder and chief executive of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. “We’re thrilled to team up with his estate to provide people with the opportunity to honor and celebrate his life with this bobblehead.”
According to Sklar, the museum worked very closely with the estate for several years to create a bobblehead that can capture King’s likeness. The estate, which owns the rights to King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, is careful about approving the use of the speech for commercial use, he said.
“Understandably so, they’re very careful about it, but I think we convinced them that the people want to commemorate” him, Sklar said. “They see the bobblehead as a way to show admiration for him and as a great educational tool that can pass on the speech to the next generation.”
The museum said it created 19,630 bobbleheads for sale, a number chosen as a nod to the year the speech was given. And each bobblehead is numbered individually.
The bobbleheads, which are expected to ship in April, are $40 each plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order, the museum said.
A portion of the proceeds from sales of the bobblehead will be given to the estate, which the organization will then use to support various civil rights groups across the U.S., the museum said. The rest of the proceeds will be used to fund the museum, located at 170 South 1st St. in Milwaukee.
The King estate declined to comment on the bobblehead.
As Chicagoans celebrate King’s life across the city, some activists and community members applauded the idea of a talking bobblehead in the civil rights leader’s memory.
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