Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Michael Luther King was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. His father will have both of their names changed to Martin Luther King, Sr. and Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. will attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, become a Baptist minister, world-renowned civil rights leader, and an advocate of non-violence. His efforts, beginning with the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 (spawned by Rosa Parks refusal to relinquish her seat to a white passenger) and continuing for the next 13 years, will fundamentally change civil rights for African Americans and earn him a number of honors and awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize (1964), Medal of Freedom, and the NAACP's Spingarn Medal (1957). He joined the ancestors on April 4, 1968 after being assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

plez sez: This is always a somber and reflective day for me, as I have a vague memory of the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. I was a young child of 6 years old, but judging by the reaction of my parents, I could sense that something terrible had gone wrong. It would be but a few years later that I would realize what a great man he was and what we (and I mean all of us, Black, white, Jews, and gentiles) had lost. The first paper that I wrote in the 4th grade was about my hero, Martin Luther King, Jr.

No greater man has stood at the cusp of change and ushered it in with such grace. And the Civil Rights Movement that he helped to birth has taken nary a step forward since that fateful day in April, nearly 40 years ago.

I challenge you to name another person in the history of this nation who has sacrificed his life for a vision of betterment for all people. Martin Luther King, Jr. stands out in my mind as the greatest American who has ever lived.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!


Keith said...

Such a great man. Sadly much of the Civil Rights Movement died with him on that fateful day.

plez... said...

Black America still smarts from his sudden demise, but all of America has missed him, as there is no one who can speak to us with the moral authority of a Martin Luther King, Jr.

vcthree said...

There may never be another iconic figure in Black history that will approach the level of authority that Martin Luther King did. Which makes what he did all the more oustanding. The mission he left behind, however, has all but been abandoned, and that is the saddest part of it all.