The importance of taking time to reflect on MLK day

Spencer Rajewski '22, Staff Writer

When I was younger, I would spend Martin Luther King day at the Detroit Auto Show. All I cared about was that we got a day off from school, but now that I have matured I understand why this man has his own day. MLK day is seen as a day to recognize and promote equal rights among all American citizens regardless of race and ethnicity.

King was a crucial component of the Civil Rights Act and a leader to end racial segregation in the United States. He was a very successful being an advocate of peaceful protest and the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. But this all came to an end with his assassination in 1968.

King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech was given on August 28, 1963 and it’s crazy to think that less than 60 years ago the United States was segregated. Our nation has come so far since then. Schools, public transportation and other public areas are open to all and not designated for “blacks” or “whites.” My mom recalls her South graduating class consisting of only a handful of African Americans, but today that handful has grown exponentially. A few weeks ago I went through some old Viewpointe yearbooks and I myself noticed the lack of African Americans in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

King is present in our everyday lives from city to suburb. I can’t even imagine such a divided nation based off skin color, I might not even have some of the friends I have today. We also just recently had our first ever African American president, Barack Obama, which really showcased how far we come from segregation.

He also taught us the importance of peaceful protest and its effectiveness on the wrongs of society, and to use your voice to speak up. King used non-violent acts as well as civil disobedience to effectively get his important beliefs across and expose the rest of the nation to the awfulness of segregation.

MLK day will always be a day which we should all recognized for its importance and our progression as a nation. King will always be remembered for his heroic actions and the direction he led our country in.