The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.


Qai Corsepius, Staff Writer

Today we continue dreaming the same dream: the dream that everyone is equal, and not judged based on complexion. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of many that showed this dream to America. 

Jan. 18 is the official marked day to reflect on what Dr. King showed America: a path of racial equality and acceptance of one another’s differences. The past eight months have shown us how the people of America are still struggling to meet this goal. 

“The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundation of our nation until bright justice emerges,” said Dr. King. This quote showed that no matter how much the Caucasian community put African Americans down, they weren’t going to give up. Even though the name of the movement has changed,  African Americans are still fighting to solve the problems they faced 53 years ago.

Dr. King was one of many who spoke out for the civil rights of the African American community. He was able to make change happen legally, such as through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The African American community was suppressed so he worked for them to be heard. 

“We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence,” said Dr. King. He knew that fighting violence with violence would make things worse. His great pride was leading those nonviolent protests. Dr. King showed America that African Americans are more civilized and human than the community talked about. He knew it would make a statement.

As years went on in his efforts, Dr. King experienced backlash on a number of occasions. For example during the first attempted march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama—also known as “Bloody Sunday”— hundreds of innocent men and women were severely beaten. Even through events like “Bloody Sunday,” he stuck with his plan. No violence, only words.

“Those who hope that the negro needed to blow off steam and now will be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual,”  said Dr. King in 1963. He couldn’t have been more right. The Black Lives Matter movement was the living embodiment of this statement in May, 2020 after the killings of innocent African American men and women. Protesters took the streets all over the country and shocked everyone, everywhere on how the community of African Americans weren’t going to sit by and still be racially profiled and killed.

Dr. King knew the fear African Americans felt walking down the street and into restaurants. It wasn’t him fighting just for his rights, he was fighting for his community. Dr. King would look at our recent events and shake his head in disappointment. America is viewed as a strong united country. But yet we put each other down constantly.

We’re all human. We bleed the same blood, breathe the same air, and walk the same streets. We can’t keep fighting each other. So, as Dr. King once said, “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace.”