What ‘MLK day’ means to me.

Sometime around fifth grade, my class received new history books, I remember it like it was yesterday. The books were fresh and the cover was gorgeous and creative. Around the time that black history month came around and we started learning, I realized something that stood out to me. There was a day that was dedicated to  Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and within the newly fresh history books there was only a paragraph and a half mentioning the martyr. So I was left with the question; If we have a day dedicated to this man, why is there only a paragraph and a half to speak of his life?  Within this small section, was this enough to speak of the life and times of a man who sacrificed everything, including his own life?

I began to do my own research and begin to understand the undoubtable fact that this man was worth way more than a small section in the history books. Below are a few things I learned about King in my research:

  • Graduated from High School at 15
  • Has four college degrees
  • Was the first President of SCLC
  • Led the Birmingham Campaign
  • Led the Montgomery Bus boycott
  • He was instrumental in organizing ‘The Great March on Washington’
  • His Speech intensified the Civil Rights Movement
  • King was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1963
  • He became the youngest recipient of Nobel Peace prize
  • He was behind African Americans getting basic civil rights
  • Achieved success using non-violent methods of protest
  • He wrote five books

Fast-forward to now and what does all this mean to me, a young 35 year old black man with a dream and vision of his own? Well, Dr. King, his life and struggle represents an example of purpose and the pursue of a greater goal bigger than one person. He was a  representative of the notion that anything is possible in the face of oppression of any kind.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. -Dr. King

Dr. King embodies the struggles of the plight of the journey of African Americans in this country. From the educational acknowledgement of blacks to the civil right for all. As a man spreading his message of non-violence and peaceMy relentless respect for this man is not to place him as some of deity, but as a human being flawed, yet driven and determined to see the convictions of his heart and belief come to life. He and many others knew that his life was threaten everyday, by both the sickness of society and the FBI yet he did not give up. Of course he had doubts and questioned his mission because of the pain that ensues with it. There are not a lot of people who would willingly put their owe life on the line for others, let along a misson, but such are those like King.

 

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