I was still a little girl living in a small village called Wageningen in Suriname when I first heard of Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. He looked like a well-dressed man on the black and white TV screen that we were watching. Who is that?, I asked. That is Martin Luther King, my dad answered.
This was long after he was assassinated. It might have been the first film about the Baptist Minister's life. Although I didn't understand English back then, I came to learn a lot more about the civil rights leader then what the movie and my dad explained to me.
We learned about MLK in school in Suriname and I believe all over the world so it's only fitting that there is a holiday in his name but how to celebrate this holiday?
What is MLK Day?
MLK Day, or Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is a federal holiday in the United States. It is observed on the third Monday in January each year, which is around the time of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday (he was born on January 15, 1929). The holiday honors the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister and civil rights activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement and is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.
How to celebrate MLK Day
There are many ways to celebrate MLK Day, and you can choose to participate in activities that align with your personal values and interests. Some suggestions for ways to celebrate the holiday include:
- Reflecting on the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact he had on the civil rights movement
- Reading or listening to some of his famous speeches or writings, such as his "I Have a Dream" speech
- Learning about the history of the civil rights movement and the ongoing work to address issues of racial inequality and social justice
- Engaging in acts of service or volunteering in your community, particularly to help those in need or to support causes related to civil rights and social justice
- Attending a community event or rally that celebrates the holiday and promotes the values of equality and justice
- Having discussions with friends, family, or others about the importance of civil rights and how to promote justice and equality in your own community.
And, I like to add; what is your favorite quote from MLK?
Here is mine. There are actually two that I quite frequently use:
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Change takes a long time, but it does happen.
The second one:
"The fierce urgency of now."
Here is the full quote:
We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there "is" such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” - Martin Luther King Jr.