As you honor Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday, don’t forget General Larry Platt.
During the Atlanta auditions of “American Idol,” Platt became a viral sensation when he sang his original song, “Pants on the Ground.”
But don’t think that Platt is just any old kook who crashed the auditions: The General has a serious history as a crusader in the civil rights movement. In fact, as a teen Platt had marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and Hosea Williams in the 1960s, reports Access Atlanta.
Williams himself that gave Platt the nickname “General,” an honorary title to indicate his importance in the civil rights movement, not a true military rank.
Not only that, but according to USA Today, the General was honored with his own holiday in Atlanta, Larry Platt Day, on Sept. 4, 2001 for giving “himself in service to the people of the City of Atlanta, the State of Georgia, and the nation…Larry Platt merits the highest recognition for his many valuable contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and his dedication to the struggle for equality and human rights.”
Some of Platt’s past civil rights activities include working with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Georgia, organizing sit-ins in the South and marching in the Bloody Sunday march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery.
The paper also points to this Civil Rights Movement photograph, claiming that the 16-year-old on the left side of the picture is a teenage Platt.