As many people are aware of, here in the United States of America, we celebrate the famous figure Martin Luther King Jr. on the third Monday of January(Annually). Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th, so we did it as a way to celebrate this day "around" his birthday, and to ensure a national holiday follows a weekend.
So, how do you remember Martin Luther King Jr.? Here are five ways to remember him, and his efforts for social justice.
1. His "I Have a Dream" Speech.
On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave arguably the most powerful, and well spoken public speech in the history of the United States. The intent of this speech was for everyone to come together, and unite as a whole. The most famous line in his speech is the one that reads "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
2. His "Letter from Birmingham Jail" open letter.
On April 16th, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote an open letter from his jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama. For some reason, this letter seems to fly right under the radar when we discuss this day. This is his brutally honest, and well-written letter of the real reason why he was arrested.
3. His lack of civil disobedience.
This may be a little controversial, but I'm under the belief that Martin Luther King Jr. preferred peaceful protests, and to unite(Unlike the disastrous "Black Lives Matter" movement, which Dr. King himself would be embarrassed of). Many figures, such as Malcom X, were disgusted by how Martin Luther King Jr. handled oppression, and preferred a more violent approach.
4. His assassination.
This is obviously what everyone talks about on this day, even more than his "I Have a Dream" speech. On April Fourth, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on the balcony of Lorraine Motel. It is widely believed James Earl Ray was guilty of killing Dr King, but there are also several theories, and opposing views which beg to differ.
5. His Legacy
Dr. King died nearly 50 years ago-However, do the effects of his life still last until today? What did Dr. King stand for and accomplish in his lifetime, and in what ways might his efforts still be at work among our society? These are questions which may be difficult to answer.
One could argue since we argued Barack Obama, our first "black" president(Even though he's not truly African-American), Martin Luther King Jr. made great strives, and his legacy lived on. However, this doesn't necessarily prove he had an affect, and nor does it prove we are that much better off than the 1960's. Race relations are definitely better than than 1960's(and before)-That is without a doubt, but I am in serious doubt that race relations are better than they were in the 2000's. In the 00's, I remember Generation X'ers, and Baby Boomers telling us we were in the best shape of race relations they had ever seen.
But that has changed since the 2010's began, and we are heading right back in that direction 50 years ago. Not another day goes by without another racially feuded riot, or another blatantly racially divided election.