Not every leader started off as a great leader.
But, overcoming obstacles amidst dire and parlous circumstances, was the push that propelled them to greatness. As we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Dr.Martin Luther King Jr., let us rejoice in the certitude that Dr.King is celebrated due to the fact that his work and efforts did not go unnoticed and his dream of equality for all did not die with him.
He was not just a leader of African Americans, he was a leader of all people. His unfaltering fortitude in the face of adversity, oppression, hate, and degradation is why his legacy lives on today. We are not just celebrating Dr.King-the man who was the face of the civil rights movement- we are celebrating the life of a man who constantly and unequivocally put his life on the line to uphold the civil rights and civil liberties of the people suffering. Dr.King’s vision of a more diverse America, where every race, color, and creed would be accepted- indisputably faced opposition.
Legislation was implemented that withheld rights of people of color(such as literacy tests and poll taxes) and there was also the common occurrence of beatings, lynchings, and killings. Through all this, Dr.King took the high road because he understood that violence did not do anything but play into the scheme of the opposition. Despite obstacles along the way, Dr.King’s nonviolent protests and demonstrations, alongside other civil rights leaders, proved to be effective and effectuated pivotal strides for equality.
But let us remember that the fight for equality and civil rights is far from over and remains at the forefront of challenges we are confronted with today. From the rise in numbers of African American men in our prisons to the racial disparities within our education system; we cannot afford to get comfortable with how far we have come because there is still so much that needs to be done. Dr.King’s generation did their part, it is now time for us to do ours. We must be steadfast in our efforts to make a difference, and be determined to build bridges, not walls of separation. #WeAreGenZ