Today is Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day, a national holiday where one of the most memorable leaders of the Civil Rights Movement is remembered. The day remains as one of the most symbolic icons of the Civil Rights Movement and the basic rights of humanity. We – as students – remember this day as just another day not going to school, we – as adults – remember this day that just another important man in the annals of American history is simply commemorated.
This man, what did he exactly do? What did this man out of the millions do, to deserve such honors? This clergyman, this 39-year old man, what did he exactly do? Did Martin Luther King Jr. conquer nations or make a new language everyone today speaks, or did he simply die as an important icon?
What Martin Luther King Jr. did was not in the conquering of nations and land; but MLKJ had a role in shaping the nation of America not conquering, but shaping its future.
What He Did – No one can deny what Martin Luther King Jr. achieved in his time that still resonates throughout the American society today.
Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the end of racial segregation that existed no more than a few decades ago. MLKJ also led the Montgomery Bus Boycott after the famed incident where Rosa Parks refused to stand up for a white passenger on a bus. He also pushed for the elimination of police brutality, racial segregation of the political systems, public transportation, schools, and everywhere in America. Evidently, the most famous course of action, Martin Luther King Jr. took was the March on Washington of 1963 where 200,000 to 300,000 people attended and listened to one of the most famous speeches of human history, “I have a Dream”.
For his efforts against racial segregation, fights against racism, and support of racial harmony, Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded:
The Nobel Peace Prize – he remains today as the youngest winner of the prize.
Presidential Medal of Freedom (Posthumously-1977)
Schools today no longer have racial segregation, nor do any public transportation, any water fountains, any bathrooms, any restaurants, any hotels, any trains, any buildings, and many many more that WAS segregated and left no room for the “colored” people, Martin Luther King Jr. acted as a catalyst that cleared the way for other ethnic groups besides those who had ‘black’ skin.
In this writer’s opinion, Martin Luther King Jr. did create a new language, a language of culture where multiple racial groups today, most notably in schools, interact freely for better or worse. No longer do we see the racial hatred that led to mass lynchings, blatant discrimination of races in public America.
That enough deserves a national holiday and some celebration.
In the two interviews below, one student and a working adult was interviewed on how they celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day.
How do you celebrate MLKJ Day? (Ryan G., Florida)
“Well…I celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day just by being here. My family and I are of Turkish descent, and probably if he [MLKJ] wasn’t around back then, I’d probably be at a racially seperated school just for Middle Easterners or something. So yeah, I have Caucasian friends , Asian friends, African-American buddies and everything else probably because of Martin Luther King Jr.”
How do you celebrate MLJK Day? (Tommy S., Pennsylvania)
“How do I celebrate? Well I still got to go to work, but yeah, see that water fountain by the bench [park] over there?”
- Yes. [Tommy goes over to the fountain and drinks from it, then comes back]
“That’s how I celebrate today, the fountain’s for everyone, not white, black, or purple people.”
- Authored By: Anonymously Yours