King’s legacy lives on today

Published 6:27 pm Friday, January 13, 2012

Monday we will once again join together across the United States to remember the legacy of arguably one of the most important men in our history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King, a Baptist minister from Alabama, was an advocate for social change through non-violent means. Through his work, segretation and Jim Crow laws became a part of history, and once again the nation was able to live up to the tenet that “all men are created equal.”

King was just 39 years old when he was fatally shot by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tenn., but his legacy continues to live on today. Our society continues to be based on the idea that everyone has a right to freedom, justice and equality. That might not necessarily mean that everyone will become rich or successful, but it does mean that they have the right to pursue those goals.

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As King wrote in his famous 1963 Letter from the Birmingham Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justic everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” King’s legacy is that we should not stay quiet when injustice is practiced in our nation; we should step up and make our voices heard.

This is the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and it is a legacy we should all celebrate, regardless of our race.