The third Monday of January is set aside to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In life, Dr. King was a controversial figure for his prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement, and his efforts to further the rights of African Americans. For many Americans, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is more than a day off work, it’s a day to honor his legacy by serving others and making a difference in the world around you. If you’re wondering how you can celebrate the legacy of Dr. King today and every day here are a few suggestions.
Expand Your Knowledge
While much of the work of Dr. King is known, there are still many misconceptions about his life and work. There are a variety of resources available online, and this would be a great day to learn more about him. The Nobel Prize website features a brief biography of Dr. King, who was the youngest man to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize at age 35. Time magazine also features a list of important texts and speeches by Dr. King that everyone ought to read.
After you’ve learned a little about Dr. King’s life, you can also spend time learning more about the Civil Rights movement. Howard University School of Law features a brief history of the movement for Black Civil Rights in the United States, and it’s a great resource for those of us who want to know more about this important period in US History.
Making Your Community a Better Place
After reading more about Dr. King’s life, you may be thinking of ways to keep his legacy alive. You can start by becoming more involved in your community. Dr. King believed in taking action against injustice, and we can all do that each day. Research your local, state, and national government representatives, and jot down their contact information so you can contact them whenever you need to take a stand. Also, find out what your representatives support and understand the issues at hand. West Virginia residents can check out the West Virginia Legislature to learn about your representatives, and if you live in Kentucky, find more information about your representatives on the Kentucky General Assembly website.
If you’d like to offer financial support to organizations carrying on Dr. King’s legacy, there are plenty of options. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund campaigns for equality across the country, and the ACLU continues to defend those fighting for their rights today.
As one of the most notable figures in American history, it’s important to acknowledge and understand the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Use this day to follow his lead and make the world a better place.
We leave you with the following quote from Dr. King’s speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” which he delivered on April 3, 1968- the day before his assassination.
“I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”