I was 9 years old when Dr. King was assassinated. After his death, suddenly my family and everyone I knew had his picture in their home. As kids, we wondered – who is this guy? Our parents began to tell us of this great man who stood up for our rights, against all odds, and who was not violent, but was locked up nevertheless, and in spite of everything being against him, persisted in his journey for a more just society.
Now, more than 50 years later, when you look at what’s happening in the United States, it appears his legacy hasn’t changed much of anything. But despite what we see unfolding in the streets and in the nation’s capital – the murders of Black men and women, the profound absence of justice, the hatred and division – his legacy gives us an everlasting hope.
To commemorate today, I reflected on the lasting impression Dr. King has made on my life. I hope you’ll listen.
My mother constantly after Dr. King’s death told my siblings and me that it was imperative to follow the example he set. I always kept that in my mind. It’s what pushed me to get an education, and it’s the reason – many decades later – I’m still helping the students and families in my community.
Dr. King’s legacy gives us this driving force on the inside that says, there’s more for you. You’re more than what you see in the mirror. You’re more than what people say about you. You have the power to help, to heal, to push forward.
Every day you can do something to bring more justice to this nation and this world.
What will you do today?