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Meaning Behind Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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MLK Day, a federal holiday, takes place on the third monday of January each year. This year it is taking place on January 21. The day dates back to starting originally in 1986. Due to MLK being a federal holiday, school does not take place that day. Although it may be a day off from school, the day has deep meaning behind it. It is a day meant to honor MLK who stood for equality and racial injustice.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. King went on to go to Boston University where he acquired a doctorate degree in systematic theology. However, as King was writing his dissertation, he worked as the pastor at a church in Alabama. King ended up receiving his Phd. at the impressive age of 25.

Martin Luther King Jr. day symbolizes an acknowledgement of the civil rights movement”

— Michelle Naylor

Church was a big part of King’s childhood growing up. Alberta Williams King, Martin Luther King’s mother, was an organist. She would often take King with her to church to sing. Later on, King became part of the church choir. King went on to become a minister at Dexter Avenue Baptist church.

Later on, King became the baptist minister after the leaders of the church voted for him to get ordained so that King could become a minister. Throughout his career as a minister, he preached about racial equality and

“Martin Luther King Jr. was an incredibly influential and inspiring figure in preparing the US forward ton live up to its ideals as set forth in our founding documents’” English teacher Larry Williams said.

Martin Luther King was a key figure during the civil rights movement, his nonviolent approach to racism and segregation gained popularity during protests. His public speaking skills made him even more favorable among people. His most famous speech “I have a dream” was given during the March on Washington. There were about a quarter of a million people present while he was giving the speech.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was an influential man, his work on civil rights movement was incredible. I think the three day weekend is nice but we also have to remember what he sacrificed in the name of racial equality and how much farther we have to go,” junior Isa Chavez said.

Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for nonviolent approaches which were inspired from Mahatma Gandhi, who also had similar nonviolent approaches that were successful. After seeing the success that Gandhi approached through non violent tactics King used much of the same tactics while boycotting. King even thought about going to India to get a grasp a better idea of Gandhi’s non violent approach after his victory in the 1956 boycott. Eventually, King ended up going to India in February in 1959 where he met up with people who protested with Gandhi.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was influential, so Martin Luther King Jr. day is celebrating him and what he stood her in a movement that really impacted racial equality,” junior Maddie Combs said.

There is a museum dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy located in Atlanta, Georgia. This is also King’s place of birth and where he was buried. There are churches located close by where King used to preach along with his childhood home.

“Martin Luther King Jr. day symbolizes an acknowledgement of the civil rights movement,” Social Studies teacher Michelle Naylor said.

Martin Luther King Jr. has been key figure in history and his role in the civil rights movement continues to be relevant today.
The message he presented society with during that time was challenging and his efforts can be seen throughout his life. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to be a reminder of equality and the legacy of King that continues to be remembered.

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About the Writer
Rae Malik, Copy Editor

My name is Rabia Malik but I go by Rae. This is my third year working with The Spartan Speaks Newspaper. I am currently a junior at Orono High School....

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Meaning Behind Martin Luther King Jr. Day