Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


On this day, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an anti-war, peace-loving Nobel Laureate who was not afraid to fight for what is right.  In his 1958 speech, “Stride Toward Freedom,” he declared, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”  Even in the face of mob violence, police brutality, and FBI surveillance, he organized for racial and economic justice.  Today, we honor his legacy and continue the movement for jobs and justice for all.

Dr. King was an activist and an intellectual.  He understood that ignorance supports oppression.  At Morehouse College (1947), he reminded students, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”  More than money and careers, our character matters.  He instructed the students to practice critical thinking and and to remain curious.

And only hours after the murder of the great Medgar Evers (June 12, 1963), Dr. Martin Luther King’s City College Commencement Speech insisted that education will give students “not only knowledge which is power but wisdom which is control.  Not only truth which is light but wisdom which is warmth.”  He spoke about social evils: war, poverty, and racism.  He also spoke about the work of justice that is required of us all, “human progress comes through tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals.”

The Martin Luther King holiday is a day meant for service in the cause for justice for all.