Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Pascal St. Aubin

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by Kathy Lambert.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday is observed as a national holiday because of his leadership in the civil rights movement. Born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. He was born into a comfortable middle-class family with his brother, his sister, and his parents. Both his father and grandfather were baptist preachers, and Martin followed in their footsteps, preaching in church against violence and racism. King stayed in Atlanta until he graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He led his first protest in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and he gave many more speeches and led many more protests, such as his famous “I Have A Dream ” speech and the March on Washington. Throughout his life, he impacted millions of people across the country, and because of his enterprises, the Civil Rights movement flourished, leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unfortunately, he was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 while standing over the balcony of a motel. Yet, even after he passed away, his legacy still lives with us for eternity.
During the 1950s and 1960s, America was going through very dark times for the African American population. African Americans however had begun to frequently peacefully protest the government all throughout Birmingham Alabama. However, they were not met peacefully, and many protesters were arrested. Eventually, there were so many African Americans in jail, that they ran out of room and they had to put up fences to expand with prison camps. This is when Dr. Martin Luther King Junior began to lead people in peaceful protest in Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1983, Ronald Reagan officially named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday a federal holiday, and in 1994, it was named a national day of service. MLK Jr. Day is not only a holiday, but a time to give back to your community in the name of Dr. King’s hard work and perseverance. So when you have Monday off this weekend, Don’t lay around playing video games, watching tv, or sleeping all day. While helping your community in any way you can, whether that is something small and miniscule, or big and grand, you are honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s work and legacy.