Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the great American civil rights leader, was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929.
The national holiday in his honor is on the third Monday in January. The next one is Monday, January 18, 2021.
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s leadership of non-violent protest for civil rights helped move our country forward, but it hasn’t been enough.
We are still under assault for the color of our skin, and now for our last names and accents.
The only way to gain equality is to take power ourselves. The way we do that in a democracy is by voting, running for office, and participating in the census.
Rev. Dr. King said, “So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote, I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind – it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact – I can only submit to the edict of others.”
“So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote, I do not possess myself.”Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
May the spirit of Rev. Dr. King lead us to the ballot box.
And if the police won’t stop abusing and killing us, then we need to become the police. That’s how Irish-Americans in New York City overcame their struggle. The NYPD is still led mostly by Irish-Americans.
Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Day celebrates the birthday of the great American on January 15, 1929. The federal holiday is the third Monday of January. A lot of us get a day off, but what does it mean?
I think about him every year, and every year I understand something more. When I first started a few years ago, I wondered why I didn’t know more about this American legend.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a great man so he will mean different things to different people. Three things stand out for me.
One is his positions is non-violence. Nobody learned anything staring down the barrel of a gun.
Violence only generates more violence. We have to be bigger than those who turn to violence. Rev. Dr. King’s position on non-violence was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi.
The second is education. He is not just Martin Luther King, Jr., he is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His title comes from a PHD in theology from Boston University.
Education gave Rev. Dr. King the opportunity to develop himself and his ideas.
Never Give Up Your Dream
The third thing that stands out about Rev. Dr. King is that he never gave up his dream. Sometimes he succeeded and sometimes he failed, but he kept going.
Listen to Rev. Dr. King. He’s not talking about anybody being better than anybody, or any kind of exclusion. He talks about Black and White and everybody together in a “symphony of brotherhood.”
I too have a dream that people will be judged not by the color of their skin, not by their last name, language or accent, not by their place of birth, social or immigration status, but by the content of their character.
I thank Rev. Dr. King for standing up for his community when it was unpopular, even dangerous to do so.
As a multiracial person born, raised and educated in the United States, my cultural education taught me that Dr. King represented another community. One of the biggest surprises of my life in the Latin world is how Black Latin is, and how most popular culture in the United States is African through the Caribbean.
Today I understand that even if I don’t live Black, Dr. King’s community is my community too and that we all share the same dream.
New York Latin Culture Magazine