Meghan Llamas – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – January 21 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and even though some students see this national holiday as an opportunity for a three-day weekend, the annual holiday has a much deeper meaning. King was an African American activist who strongly, yet peacefully, believed in equality throughout all citizens of the U.S.
Throughout his lifetime, King earned his B.A. and doctorate degrees, started a family, became a pastor, changed bus laws, wrote a manifesto, earned the title of “Man of the Year” in Time magazine, became the youngest man to receive to Noble Peace Prize, and used the prize money, $54,123, to push forward the civil rights movement.
Today, the holiday is still celebrated in remembrance of his legacy.
“He’s my personal hero.” Law teacher Tony Cummings said, “Martin Luther King, cases like Brown vs Board, they all started the march towards the right thing.” King helped to start the movement for equality among all, from the nation, to every classroom within it.
When asked about how King has left his mark on his classroom, Cummins answered, “Without him, diversity in our classroom wouldn’t exist.”
LRHS assistant principal Valencia Lowen said the day has special significance for her.
“For African-Americans this day has special resonance,” she said. “Dr. King’s life and legacy have inspired millions. He is a key reason for our country’s success today.”
King is best known for his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., in which he envisioned a nation where racism would cease to exist, and every boy and girl would be treated equally. He made this speech only five years before he was assassinated while preparing to lead yet another protest.
Over his life King traveled over 6-million miles, spoke over 2500 times, and wrote five books all within an 11 year period, according to The Noble Prize.
Though King may have passed more than 50 years ago, his imprint on today’s world remains. King’s ideas and morals are still taught and passed along throughout generations, from classrooms to households.