Monday, January 16, 2006

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

'A man without borders'

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, first observed on Jan. 20, 1986. Yesterday (Jan. 15) would have been King's 77th birthday. Millions of Americans are remembering the civil rights leader and human right advocate over this long holiday weekend.

King was a husband, a father, and a preacher. He was also the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world. One of the twentieth century's most influential men, he lived an extraordinary life.

To view a timeline of milestones in King's life, as well as a photo gallery, click here.

To truly understand King, this writer believes that one should read his writings. The King Estate has copyrighted his works. However, selected examples of his writings may be viewed online. Among them - the address King delivered in acceptance of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. The King Papers Project is housed at Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.

Journalists, historians, legislators and community leaders continue to examine whether King's appeal for peace with justice is as relevant today as it was when he was alive. The Houston Chronicle attempts to place King's philosophy into present-day perspective in an editorial, titled A man without borders.

At the height of his advocacy for civil and human rights, King was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39.

Tags: , , , ,


Rose said...

I was a small child, very young, not in first grade, but in kindergarden. But I remember the day he died. I remember my mother crying and I asked her why. I really remember that and it made a strong imopact on me because I saw the effect he had on folks in death.

Deb S. said...

Rose: My mother cried, too. I still like to listen to his audio clips. Dr. King was a very gifted orator and writer.

Many years later, as an adult, I spent some time talking to Julian Bond. He gave me some additional insight into Dr. King.

One of the things that bothers me is that the younger generation - as a group - really doesn't truly understand the sacrifices made King and those who worked with him, nor are they aware of his goals.

Sure, the kids read about King and other civil rights pioneers in history books. But to them, that's all it is - history. I think our parents and schools need to do a better job of helping children see that Dr. King's philosophy is as relevant now as it was in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

One of the most important figures of the 20th century in my opinion. His teachings then and now are so profound.


Deb S. said...

Dr. Deb: I agree!