Today we celebrate an American activist, a humanitarian and the leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man who played a major role in achieving the advancement of civil rights in the U.S. through peaceful, nonviolent protest, the most notably of which was the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. During this integral movement in our civil rights history, King delivered a 17 minute long speech that came to be referred to as, “I Have a Dream”; now known as one of the greatest public addresses in American history as well as the defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement.
More than 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famously influential speech was voiced to over a quarter of a million people at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, we celebrate his achievements for the African-American community, remember and admire his legacy, as a man who tirelessly and peacefully fought for the things he knew to be true, fair and just in this world, and are inspired by his willpower and determination in the face of great opposition.
In the United States, as well as throughout the rest of the world, we know that it is of the utmost importance that learn about our history so that we may never repeat it. We remember and honor Martin Luther King, Jr. for his assistance in bringing our nation further out of the dark and into a brighter future when all of humankind can be treated equally and fairly and we spread awareness and education about his work in the American Civil Rights Movement so that we need never take a step back into the darkness.
Today, the Martin Luther King Day of Service is a nationwide project that encourages volunteer work and civil engagement amongst people of diverse backgrounds. It is a way for Americans to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and continue his work in a way that we believe he would have seen fit. As a result men, women and children all over the country have come together to help feed, clothe and support each other in all areas of need.
You can volunteer today, and all year round, by asking local shelters, food kitchens or community centers if they need your assistance or by donating food, clothing and other necessities to the less fortunate in your area. You can also search for local volunteer opportunities online to get a better idea of how you can make a difference in your community. There is no better way to honor and perpetuate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s great work than through openhanded and generous civil action.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
– Martin Luther King