Today, we honour a man whose determination, dedication and passion for equal rights changed history and made an undeniable impact on the United States and the world. Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a national holiday in America in 1983.
There is no debate concerning the undeniable fact that The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest leaders recognized, admired and affirmed by millions of people throughout the world. King’s activism and leadership changed everything.
As people all over the world prepare to commemorate the 87th birthday of Dr. King, I believe it is very important to focus on how Dr. King’s legacy today is still relevant for all people who cry out for freedom, justice, equality and empowerment.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a devoted man of faith and a committed freedom fighter. Dr. King was very clear about the goal of the Civil Rights Movement. His ideas went beyond winning victories against injustice and repression. Social change for King was not just a dream or an unobtainable goal, but it was a realistic, achievable and tangible outcome of the struggle for freedom and equality.
“The nonviolent resister must often express his protest through noncooperation or boycotts, but noncooperation and boycotts are not ends themselves; they are merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent. The end is redemption and reconciliation. The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“It is a day of interracial and intercultural cooperation and sharing. No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples’ holiday. And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream.”
It’s never just another annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. There are always new lessons to learn and fervent actions to take up on this day of commemoration. It is a day to be catapulted by fresh inspiration or a collective memory into a new or renewed cause, and to commit to with at least a smidgen of the perseverance and dedication of Dr. King.
Today is the day to give something, learn something, teach something, commit to something, DREAM something. What can you do today to further the legacy of this amazing man? I would love to hear all about it the comments below!