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Celebrating The Legacy Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Submitted by on January 17, 2011 – 9:44 amOne Comment
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“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The name is synonymous with equality and freedom for all people, regardless of race, color, or creed. The unwavering strength of his leadership coupled with his exemplary oratorical skills inspired an entire generation of people to march when they wanted to run and hide, turn the other cheek when they wanted to fight, and keep the faith when they wanted to throw their hands up in despair. His dream that one-day, ever member of society would be judged by the content of his or her character and not by the color of his or her skin continues to inspire to this day, forty-two years after his untimely death. As U.S. Representative John Lewis (D – GA), a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement and former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, once said while discussing the 1963 March on Washington during which Dr. King shared his dream with the rest of the world, “By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations.”

During his brief but illustrious career as a human-rights advocate, Dr. King spoke out against discrimination, segregation, unfair wages, and even the Vietnam War. He did not skirt controversy, but rather embraced it if it meant providing some kind of relief to those who were suffering from the injustices of the world. Under the looming threat of death, Dr. King remained steadfast in his belief that the basic human rights explicitly stated in this country’s founding documents (“all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”) applied to all men, regardless of the color of their skin. His constant reaffirmation of that belief through simple civil disobedience, marches, and awe-inspiring speeches facilitated passage and enforcement of The Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Dr. King envisioned a colorblind society, and although we as a people have a ways to go, our current President is proof positive of how far we’ve come. No longer are our lives limited by societal dictates based on fear and ignorance; to the contrary, our only limit is the sky and the possibilities are endless. On the shoulders of Dr. King and those who marched alongside of him we stand as educators, doctors, lawyers, and CEOs. He dedicated his life to the betterment and empowerment of our people and humankind, and on this day, let’s honor his memory and celebrate his legacy in a manner befitting a King.

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