Every third Monday of January, the United States acknowledges a holiday to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, January 16, marked the 28th anniversary of the national day of service. It is a day to remember not only to honor MLK but to recognize the unification obtained throughout the past years regarding racial injustice. One should always value the courage, truth, justice, compassion, and dignity that defined MLK, which empowers people worldwide today.
Throughout the US last Monday, people celebrate the legacy of King in many different ways. Dr. King’s most outstanding achievements include the eventual passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed employment discrimination and segregation in public places and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. These laws in business led to a more unified country, but we still have a long way to go considering the recent events in today’s world.
King was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Award in 1964. Unfortunately, he was assassinated in a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. Immediately after King’s death, a holiday was called to honor his death. On August 27, 1984, President Reagan established a committee to assist in the observance of a country-wide holiday. Later, Reagan signed the “Proclamation 5431,” officially acknowledging Dr. King’s birthday as a national holiday. It was in 2000 that every Union observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Despite our advancements in racial injustice, differences between white and black people still exist today. Even though we’ve made great strides in creating an environment where everyone is equal, there is still a long way we have to go for the US to become a united nation where true equality has been achieved. Once MLK stated, “Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” This quote signifies the importance of assistance to people in need.
You might be asking: How? Today’s society celebrates with marches, parades, and even speeches by civil rights and political leaders. It can also be honored by donating to charities, doing as little as watching a speech by MLK or even reposting something on your social media account. Individuals and organizations can also undertake volunteer hours in support of MLK day. The holiday reminds us of the hard work Dr. King strived for and the empowerment created for people going through racial injustice and segregation.
You may remember MLK’s legacy differently than me, but building on where we’ve come from is essential. Every day should be a reminder of Dr. King’s push for change and the sacrifices he dealt with. Dr. King’s courage is an example that will help others in support of changes for a better tomorrow involving topics from racial injustice to changing school food. MLK is not just a “day off” from school or work; it is a day to stand up and support those who have not had a say and those who challenged the system back then such as Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and the beloved Martin Luther King Jr.