Remembering Dr. King

Remembering+Dr.+King

Gloria Holt

Almost every student knows who Martin Luther King, Jr. was. He was an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader for civil rights during the 1960s. Most students know his  famous“ I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered during the march on Washington, D.C. in 1963. In that speech, one of the lines that is most remembered is his statement, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” This statement was part of his speech referring to the progress that the civil rights movement has made and how much they still had to go. African Americans were fighting segregation and discrimination, but they were no longer slaves.

African Americans were not the only ones to support Dr. King and his cause. Many from other races, including White Americans worked to end disrimination and violence against Blacks. Dr. King, and others in the civil rights movement faced threats and violence as they worked to bring about change. Dr. King’s work was cut short when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968. He was killed  at the Lorraine Motel where he was staying while he was supporting city garbage workers who went on strike. 

Shortly after his death, supporters began asking for a national holiday to celebrate Dr. King and his legacy. MArtin Luther King day was first celebrated in 1986 and has been recognized on the third Monday in January since then.  Not everyone was in favor of a holiday in honor of Dr. King, but today most do. They enjoy taking the day off work and school, but do not do much else to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.