By Mackenzie Delp
On January 18th we will celebrate a man by the name of Martin Luther King Junior, or more commonly known as MLK. Since 1986, we have celebrated the changes and awareness that MLK brought to the United States. However, since 2000, all the states have recognized it as a holiday. Even now the holiday is celebrated on the same day as Robert E. Lee day in Alabama and Mississippi. MLK Day was the first holiday created around someone who was not a president and who is African American.
Martin Luther King Junior had many accomplishments during his time. Most people think of his “I have a dream” speech when they think of MLK, but this only scratches the surface of the many things that he did. When the Brown vs. Board of Education decision was made in 1954 in Montgomery the King family had only been living there for less than a year. This brought a lot of attention to the city. December 1st, 1955 was the day that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the Montgomery bus. This brought on the Montgomery Bus Boycott that lead MLK to be chosen as the protest’s leader. This movement that was started by Rosa Parks is one of the major events that King participated in and regulated. This protest continued until November of 1956 and by then King had created such an impact on the American people and brought two more rights activists to light.
Some students were asked, “What do you think MLK did to change how things are today?” Kamryn Harris said, “I believe that MLK has created a sense of equality to all the races of the people. He believed that all of us people no matter the skin tone or anything about us that we are all equal. He has taught society that all can exist where race shouldn’t be an issue in how people are treated. He also helped with the idea that it’s okay to have protests as long as they don’t get violent and he wanted everyone to follow this.” Miss Webb, the Allied Health teacher, said, “I would dare to say that MLK would be disappointed in the strides we have made towards justice in the recent years. One of my favorite MLK quotes is, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”. We have found ourselves using darkness to drive out darkness. Recently, I feel that we have much more darkness than light in the world and I truly feel that he would be disheartened by that. He was a light in the world. He lived by the words he spoke and used love to drive out hate. All that breeds from hate is more hate. He made so many strides for equality and we have taken so many strides in the wrong direction recently. We all need a little MLK in our brains. Be the light and love that we wish to see in the world. It would surely make it a better place that MLK would be proud of.”
Martin Luther King Junior impacted an entire generation of people and created movement upon movement. The lasting conflicts among today’s world are something that MLK fought against years ago.