Did you know that Monday, January 17 is not only a holiday recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy but also a commemoration of his birthday and a national day of service? In 1994, Congress designated the federal holiday as a national day of service to honor the civil rights leader’s legacy.
During Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, People across the country
will take part in volunteer and community service projects. Below
are a few ways you can get involved and learn more about Dr. King
and his work to advance civil rights while making an impact in your
Underprivileged and underrepresented groups exist in every
community. Simple actions can make all of the difference for these
groups and is a way for everyone to get involved. Find a group of
underprivileged or underrepresented people in your area and find a
way you can help. Even one person can make a difference. (
Dr. King fought for equity for his people in a country where they
were treated as second-class citizens and paid for it with his
life. His work to get equitable protections into law led to the
landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965,
two laws that have had a significant impact on racial equity in the
United States. The Jon Lewis Voting Rights Act, created to
re-strengthen the original Voting Rights Act of 1965, is currently
in the US Senate and is on example of how King’s fight
continues to this day .
Great books to begin with:
Without knowing where to start, attempting to aid the fight for
racial equity and justice may seem daunting. Luckily, there are
organizations dedicated to that very fight. Organizations like the
NAACP, ACLU, KIND, Black Lives Matter and many more work on both a
national and local level to ensure equity and justice belongs to
every individual regardless of the color of their skin.
Following Ronald Reagan signing into law the creation of the Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday in 1983, there have been many
official celebrations to mark the date. Nearly all major cities
around the United States host some sort of celebratory event to
honor the life and work of Dr. King. Check your local area to see
when and where the nearest event is happening this year and take
part in the celebration of a true pioneer. (Please follow your area’s COVID
mitigation recommendations when attending events.)
There are many movies and documentaries that represent crucial
moments in Dr. King’s fight for racial justice as well as his
life. For those looking for movies, the film The Boy King highlights Dr.
King’s childhood, Boycott represents the
discrimination on public transportation that eventually led to the
Montgomery Bus Boycotts, and Selma is an award-winning film
primarily focused on the eponymous 1965 Selma to Montgomery,
Alabama voting marches. In terms of documentaries, King in the Wilderness offers a
raw portrayal of Dr. King, while I Am MLK Jr. allows for
different perspectives that illustrate why he is still so relevant.
Watching any of these films can allow you to more accurately
understand the different fights Dr. King went through in various
parts of his life and the legacy he still leaves today.
Five Ways to Service Others During Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 13, 2022