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the Rock Online

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the Rock Online

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MLK Day: A Man, A Dream and a Holiday

The significance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and an opinion on the top five most important things about it.
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media by Claire Bauer
A graphic reads “MLK Day: A man, a dream and a holiday” to introduce the article.

January has come around again, and with that comes a long list of yearly holidays. As the new year begins, so does the holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For many students, this means a day off from school, but it’s much more than that. 

Here’s a list of my take on the top five most important things from MLK Day.

 

1. The Courage

According to NAACP, on Aug. 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech to around 250,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Around this time, discrimination was still all around the country and it seemed like it would be impossible for a change to happen. That is, until one man stood before thousands of people and gave a speech that no other person could give. That was King’s courage.

2. Peaceful Protest

According to AARP, King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as one of his acts of protesting for equal rights, mainly against racist Jim Crow laws, which were state and local laws introduced in the Southern United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that enforced racial segregation. A significant factor to consider is that King’s entire speech was a non-violent protest, and so were many other protests in the South. Because of this, they gained an attraction to other people, and that is one of the reasons why he had many followers.

3. Inspiring Others

Ever since that day of his speech, many people have gained inspiration from King and continue to work on civil rights issues today. Leaders such as Stacey Abrams, Bryan Stevenson, Rashad Robinson and so many others have put in effort to continue to spread awareness for civil rights. King’s legacy lives on more than 50 years later and has been remembered by thousands of people.

4. The Impact

King’s “I Have a Dream” speech changed thousands of Americans all over the country, inspiring others to make a stand for all to have equal rights. One of the most impactful lines in the speech is at the very beginning. 

“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation,” King said. 

And that it was. When people think of great speeches, one that immediately comes to mind is this one because it hit everyone with how racial equality is so important. King had an unbelievable amount of hope for a brighter future for people of different colors and races.

5. What About Today?

Celebration of MLK Day can be found everywhere in the U.S. There are so many parades and events throughout different states, all to celebrate MLK Day. For example, one exciting experience titled “Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Denver” is happening in Denver on Monday, Jan. 15 and offers an exciting experience with entertainment, speeches, a march, and more. If students would like to check it out, they can go here!

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