In 1986 it was declared that every third Monday in January would mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This federal holiday has since been celebrated as an occasion to promote tolerance and equal rights for all, regardless of background, race or religion. On such a day, it’s important to remember who Dr. King was and what he did for the progress of this country through non-violent activism.
WHO WAS MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.?
He was an American clergyman and civil-rights leader who played a leading role in the desegregation of the Montgomery bus system in 1956. His civil interests ranged from equal rights to concerns over poverty and even criticism of the Vietnam War. His philosophy of nonviolence sought to teach us that the only way to fight hate is through love, and that you don’t need guns to change the course of human history.
WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES OF NON-VIOLENCE?
• Is a way of life for courageous people
• Seeks to win friendship and understanding
• Holds that voluntary suffering can educate and transform
• Chooses love over hate
Martin Luther King Jr. believed that the only way to defeat injustice was through education. He believed that people shouldn’t be judged by the color of their skin, but rather by the contents of their character. We celebrate this day to remember the civil injustices our country faced
and to ensure we stay on the path to a brighter, more inclusive future.