Martin Luther Who? Remembering the Civil Rights Movement

71296-004-0B8CB497Martin Luther King Day is fast approaching. It is a day celebrated for the man – Martin Luther King, Jr. – who passively fought for the rights of African Americans and brought about the huge shift in American society. The holiday took until the year 2000 to be celebrated nationwide, when Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. Nowadays however, it seems that our view of the holiday has lost its impact and it’s more often seen as a day to be free of classes. And to stay at home in our pajamas watching How I Met Your Mother and drinking our overpriced Starbucks coffee.

By forgetting about a monumental evolution in human rights, have we really become ignorant Americans? Maybe I’m just reaching to a cynical conclusion; maybe I’m giving in to all the stereotypes of Americans being unintelligent and materialistic.

And though some of that may or may not be true (I’m not speaking for the vast majority; plus they’re stereotypes, not hard facts), that doesn’t mean people won’t be thinking about MLK Jr. and his ideals. Though the significance of Martin Luther King Day has become somewhat jaded, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t continue to make an impact on our society. MLK day is just a reminder of how far we’ve grown since then because we have grown from the experience as a nation.

And we’re only moving forward and evolving into something better. In the past 50 years, the United States have come such a long way: women’s rights, gay rights, even such impact in other countries – protests in India, Libya, Vietnam, Egypt, China, London and so much more. The fact that Martin Luther King Day is also officially celebrated worldwide – in places like Toronto, Canada and Hiroshima, Japan – should go to show that the meaning of the holiday hasn’t completely been lost. Think about it this way: if the 3rd Monday of January wasn’t actually a holiday, would you still be doing what you’re doing when it is and constantly reminded to you that it’s Martin Luther King Day? So despite various views on the holiday, ranging from little interest to providing hope for our future humanitarians, Martin Luther King Day will forever be a tribute to who he was, what he did, why he did it and the impact that it’s made since then.

Plus, we get to go to speeches about MLK Jr. and subsequently get a free ticket on the free food.