For Dr. King.

Before I was a "grown up," I took holidays like today for granted. I never really acknowledged what the reason for the vacation day from school/work was, opting instead to sleep in and catch up on my shopping and TV marathons.

Today, for some reason, has really struck something inside of me.

As I'm sure many, if not most, people know, today is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. I don't know many specific details about the man. I couldn't tell you where he was born, the names of each of his children, in what field he earned his doctorate, and so on. What I do know is that throughout my entire childhood, into young adulthood and even more so today, I have always been aware of how amazing and inspiring of a man that he was. The Civil Rights movement has always fascinated me, and in my eyes, Dr. King spearheaded and was the heart of the movement.

He took the risks and faced the challenges that so many others were too afraid to attempt. Where might we be today if these risks had not been taken? That is a scary thought to ponder.

He sparked interest and dedication in the idea that minorities were just as equal deserved every opportunity that non-minorities did. Where might we be today if the idea of equality amongst people, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, ancestry, had never been approached, had never been fought for, had never been the life or death focus of so many movers and shakers who were determined to break the trend of discrimination?

He stuck to his guns and did not back down from His Dream despite the views of his naysayers, the countless death threats and taunts of people who swore that different races would never be considered as one. Where might we be today if people had not heard his speeches and felt the stirring in their own hearts to make a difference, to stand up with Dr. King and become one of the movers and shakers who have made the changes in our history that have brought us to where we are?

While America has certainly made leaps and bounds of changes in the area of equality and justice and fair rights, hostility and hate still thrives. While this makes me sad, I'm also proud to know that so many people have made enormous sacrifices to bring us to where we stand now. While Dr. King was not the single heartbeat of the Civil Rights movement, he had the power and soul in his words that moved people to join him and to fight for their rights and take a stand... and that is amazing.

It's a wonderful thing that today, his birthday, has been observed in honor of his work and of his individual person for the past twenty-five years. I hope that people might take a moment from their day, as lovely as a break in the workweek is, and think about why we have today off. Regardless of the color of someone's skin, I firmly believe that other changes and advances have been made in regards to equality, due in large part to Martin Luther King. The desire to make changes in the world and the belief that these changes are achievable was only sparked by Dr. King. Prior to his influence, people might not have felt that there was a fighting chance that things would ever change... but they did. He gave people hope and now, forty-seven YEARS after he made his "I Have A Dream" speech, his dream has come true.

In my heart of hearts, in an ideal and perfect world, everyone would be created equal and, even more importantly, be treated and viewed equally. While I don't agree with all views, I am not one to pass judgment and believe that people should be treated as the individuals that they are, regardless of any differences that they might have that may set them apart from others. If I had lived in the time of Dr. King, I have no doubt in my mind that I would have been influenced by his words and felt compelled to join him in his marches and his movements to fight for what is right.

While I'm not a mama yet, I will without a doubt make sure that my future babies know why they have this particular day off from school, and how important it is to remember that the chances that they and their friends and classmates may have is due in part to the dedication and sacrifices of amazingly strong people from the past.

So, to wrap it up, thank you, Dr. King, for all that you did, for all that your words have continued to do, and for the ultimate sacrifice that one can give. Although you were not able to physically see your dreams come true, so many people worked in your honor to make sure that all will be created equal. And, slowly but surely, equality is being achieved.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.


  1. My girls have been calling it "King Day" today! :)

  2. *like*

    i work for the national park service and went down to martin luther king, jr. national historic park in atlanta, georgia - that's where he was born. he had 4 children, but i can't remember their names. it was such an inspiration to be there, to be in ebenezer church where he preached. i work for a conservation part of the NPS and we got to work on the casket that MLK was buried in, it was so inspirational.