Students write about the MLK holiday

Jan 16, 2023


Celebrate history that we know


As many people know, Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist and one of the most prominent leaders during the civil rights movement.

King was best known for his nonviolent acts to achieve equal rights for all people. It is because of him, and many like him, that we as Black people have been given the opportunities we have today. Although it has been years since Martin Luther King Jr. passed, his work still inspires activists today.

I do believe that it is important that we continue to celebrate MLK Day because Martin Luther King Jr. is an important part of our history as Black people. As Black people, we already don’t know a lot about our history, because it was stolen from us, so it's important that we celebrate what we can remember.

There were many people during the civil rights movement that should be celebrated, and unfortunately they are not. MLK happened to be one of the only Black activists to be celebrated, so we need to keep his legacy alive. I am glad that MLK Day is becoming a national holiday because Black people aren’t often recognized for the good things that they do.

I believe that everyone should spend their holiday doing something useful in their community. Although America is getting better in terms of treating everyone equally, we still have a long way to go.

On MLK Day, I believe that people of all ages, races, religious backgrounds and genders should come together to try to make this a better place to live.

That is what Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted.


Togetherness and love


Growing up, it was evident that when learning of any Black history in America, if you weren’t taught about anyone else, or knew of anyone, Martin Luther King Jr. was someone you definitely knew of.

His story is primarily used when speaking of the importance of civil rights and justice.

King is the staple, a key leader, and I wholeheartedly believe that the MLK holiday is still very relevant today and is meant to be a holiday. His name is known worldwide and he contributed essential things to our nation. And even though he is a small piece to what is a much bigger scale of other activists and world changers, his name can be a gateway for people to then dig deeper and learn of other great people and their contributions to the same causes.

In the Black community, MLK Day is a joyous occasion: cookouts, parades, church services. It’s a day to come together to celebrate, to have fun and remember how far we’ve come. Each year, it is something to look forward to, and I do believe that that is how Dr. King would want the day to be, about togetherness and love.


Holiday's intent has been lost


How can we turn a holiday that was intended to be a day of national service into a three-day weekend? How did we go so far away from the original spirit of the holiday?

People may ask why there is a whole holiday devoted to one man and may query why there is a day off from work and school. It is because many Americans were affected by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of peace and justice. I believe that many have lost sight of the holiday's original intent and now simply view it as another day off.

The day set aside to honor him is a moment to study history and consider the wise lessons he imparted that are still relevant today. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates the life of a man who fought for racial equality and justice. It honors equality in a community he once yearned to be colorblind. To remember Dr. King's life and legacy, individuals can observe this federal holiday.

Dr. King marched, wrote, talked and fought to defend what he believed in. Whatever one does to commemorate the day, keep in mind that it is meant to show how far we have come as well as how far we still must go to achieve racial equality. It is important to remember that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day of service and should be observed as such.


Holiday is 'extremely important'


As you all know, Monday, Jan. 16, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day remembering the prominent leader during the civil rights movement.

Honoring King and recognizing what he did for Black people during the civil rights movement is extremely important. Racial discrimination has been a battle for Black people for so many years and, in some ways, still affects us today. That’s why it is important for us to celebrate this holiday.

Although everyone doesn’t honor him, many people host events and celebrations to acknowledge what he did for us.

It is important to know what King did and the importance of the national holiday. With more research and teaching of others, we as a nation can honor Dr. King appropriately.


Why doubts about the holiday?


On Nov. 2, 1983, former president Ronald Reagan designated that every third Monday of January be recognized as Martin Luther King Jr. Day (MLK Day).

This comes as a result of the recognition of countless efforts King put in, in hopes of bringing about unity among people. Having a day on the calendar dedicated to you highlights the influence and impact that you have made in the world and the lives of many. Dr. King is for sure deserving of his day.

For years, there have been speculations regarding whether MLK Day should still be deemed a national holiday, but why? Is it because of the color of his skin, or does one ultimately think that King did not accomplish enough to be worthy of such honor?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went through numerous trials and tribulations to fight for equality for his people, and for all to become one. The work that he put in year after year was not easy whatsoever and took plenty of perseverance, hence justifying the relevance of his day.

While we do observe Dr. King’s day every year, do we celebrate it the right way? Schools, offices and business are closed in observance, but do we actually take time to remember MLK or do we just enjoy the day off? Those who truly respect him often host events that promote some of his aims or to just simply honor him.

The more you know about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the more you will grow to appreciate him. Without his efforts, the world would be far worse than how it is now.


Holiday not observed as King would want


Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an annual holiday celebrating the birthday of our fallen brother, Martin Luther King Jr., who fought for racial justice and equality. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.

I believe MLK Day should remain a holiday because it is a way for everyone to remember someone who risked his life to fight for our freedom. This holiday is a reminder that his bravery and pureness will never be forgotten.

I do not believe that most people, especially my age, spend MLK Day doing what King would do or even know enough about MLK to realize why we’re out of school or the office on this day. I believe the majority of people look at this day as just an extra weekend day that they would use to keep their fun going or use it as another day to relax.


Message still relevant today


MLK Day is a day for us to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate the contributions he made to the American civil rights movement.

Although his efforts for peace and equality were used to combat segregation, his message is still relevant today.

It was only 59 years ago that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed to end racial discrimination and segregation. But still in 2023, people of color face police brutality, mass incarceration and systemic inequality.

So when asked about the relevancy of MLK Day, I say it’s important that we acknowledge this day. Not only so we can recognize the strides Martin Luther King Jr. made for equality but so we can remember that we still have a long way to go.

I hope that we can get to a point in society where we won’t need a singular day or month to celebrate a culture that should be celebrated every day.

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