The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 82 on Sunday, if he had not been killed by an assassin’s bullet in 1968. It was a time often captured in black-and-white images, defined by black and white.
People will gather at events to commemorate King and the towering legacy he created in so few years of life.
Those events’ participants will be black, white and other colors. They will be men and women. Many will be too young to have ever lived at the same time as King did, delivering soaring speeches and marching for civil rights. They might know his legacy only from a history book.
King stood for far more than transforming racial attitudes. He campaigned for a minimum wage, for other workers’ rights, against poverty and for peace. Today, as many complain about income inequality, of 99 percent and 1 percent, King’s message still is relevant.
“I have a dream,” King famously said from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. And much of his vision has come to pass, from the presence of a black man in the Oval Office to the racial harmony that will be on display this weekend and Monday, the federal holiday in his honor.
We encourage everyone to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr. at some point in the coming days, or to read or listen to his words. He remains an icon of another, distant time who still speaks to us now.
— THE JACKSON CITIZEN PATRIOT