Celebrating MLK Jr. ‘s Message

MLK Jr. gives a speech. Photo courtesy of biography. com
MLK Jr. gives a speech. Photo courtesy of biography. com

Kyra Angileri

Staff Writer

Every year January 16, the day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, is usually reserved to pause and take a day to reflect on the civil rights leader’s impact and achievements. To some, this is just a 3-day weekend, but it is meaningful for those who honor his legacy. Julia Kopstein, junior says, “Martin Luther King Jr.’s message is so important to remember today, especially with such racial turmoil going on. His message should continue to inspire everyone to fight for what is just, and remind us as a nation and a world how much work we have to do.” Many news stations are dedicating segments to reiterate his platform, a variety of stores and government buildings are closed, and non-profit organizations like PBS are airing MLK documentaries to educate the public on his true nonviolent activism that took the black communities by storm in the racially-tense era. Foran Alum Mark Duffy says, “Martin Luther King Jr. inspires me to speak out about issues I am passionate about regardless of the backlash I might receive. MLK and other civil rights leaders taught me that if I remain silent I side with the oppressors.” King was a Baptist minister and headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, even receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the youngest, at that time. Although he was assassinated in 1968, his message advocating for racial equality in all aspects completely transcends his time period. His timeless message and impact will influence Americans everywhere for the rest of history. As Rochelle Holness, senior, says, “MLK’s message is timeless because in the society we live in there is still a racial divide in which King’s speech still has relevance. His message can apply to all races, not only African Americans. He dreamed of a place where individuals can be based upon their character not on the color of their skin, background, education, or economic standing. Obama’s heartwarming statement about celebrating today only emphasizes the idea that the work Mr. King made years ago is still ongoing.”