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Martin Luther King Day: Why It Concerns You as an African American

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If you’ve heard the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, you know Martin Luther King. He’s one of the most recognizable American Civil Rights movement figures. His legacy is remembered through Martin Luther King Day. He championed the end of segregation and the rights of black people. 

After his assassination, the need to keep his legacy led to Martin Luther King Day, which is commemorated on the third Monday of January. Why do people celebrate this day?

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A review of the history of Martin Luther King Day. Video Credit: ABC News

Recall Martin Luther King’s Legacy

African Americans celebrate this Day to celebrate his legacy and the values he stood for. He dedicated his life to fighting for justice and freedom. 

As a result, Martin Luther attracted a lot of criticism from people who wanted to maintain the status quo but also gained a large following for his bravery.

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Fought for Racial Equality

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Martin Luther King, Jr.
President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Martin Luther King, Jr. Source: Wikimedia licensed by Public domain

If there was a man who confronted racism without fear, it was Martin Luther King. He yearned for a society that would stop discriminating against people because of their skin color

He wanted equal treatment for everyone which was the basis of his famous speech ‘I Have a Dream’. 

Barack Obama’s rise to the presidency in 2008 saw this dream come to pass and is one of the most significant moments in the history of the United States

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Spoke About Peace

Martin Luther King Day reminds us to use our voices for change and that can be done through peaceful means. He spoke out against the injustices but never took arms. Words are powerful and speaking up helps to shine a light on such.

Honor His Bravery

Review of the life of Martin Luther King. Video Credit: 88 Brains

Throughout his participation in the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King faced arrests, jail time and charges. He was arrested 29 times and jailed once. He was also attacked, and beaten and faced threats to his life.  

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Reaffirm Our Commitment to a Better Life

Honoring Martin Luther King Day is a way of renewing our commitment to the continued fight for equality. This day allows us to reflect on how far we’ve come and what we need to do to for a brighter future. 

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Learn About Our History

Learning about our history makes us appreciate our culture and the people who fought to make sure we have a better life. We’re able to share this and keep it alive without the distortion of the facts. 

Speaking About Power

Who better to learn from than Martin Luther King? Every black person can study his speeches and actions and get inspired by how he carried himself through the struggle. The current generation seems to have learnt this. 

The protests across the United States after the killing of George Floyd show that we’re not allowing people in power to get away with racial profiling.

Day of Service

On Martin Luther King Day, you can spend time performing acts of service. These help in creating unity, healing wounds and leaving a lasting impact on society. You can also take this time to join a new community and recommit to the ones you serve.

Martin Luther King Day is a key part of American history. It’s a day that African Americans appreciate the efforts of the Civil Rights movement and Martin Luther was at the heart of it. How do you celebrate this day?

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