What Anyone Can Do to Honor the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.


Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the most influential and inspirational figures of the twentieth century. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929, King's life, tragically cut short when he was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968, is now celebrated annually across the United States and beyond on the anniversary of his birth.

Though Martin Luther King, Jr. lost his life more than half a century ago, there is still much people can do to promote and secure the more equitable and just society he longed for. Honoring his memory and legacy is a good place to start, and the following are some ways to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

· Discuss his legacy with young people. There's much competing for people's attention as the world finds itself nearing the end of the opening quarter of the twenty-first century. That can make it easy to overlook the efforts of influential individuals like King who helped the world become the place it is today. Parents and educators can utilize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a catalyst to open a dialogue with their children and students about King's life and legacy. Highlight the injustices King fought against and emphasize his commitment to peace in the face of those challenges.

· Watch a film or films about the civil rights movement. Historians may dispute the timeline, but the civil rights movement in the United States is generally considered to have taken place between 1954 and 1968. Many films, including dramas and documentaries, examine important individuals and moments during this pivotal period in American history. "Freedom Song" (2000), "Ghosts of Mississippi" (1996), "Malcolm X" (1992), and "Selma" (2014) are just a handful of the many films that shed light on the African American experience during the civil rights era.

· Expand your knowledge of the era. While King was front and center during the civil rights era, many other brave men and women risked their lives in an effort to combat segregation and discrimination. Any effort to more deeply understand the civil rights era and the issues that African Americans were fighting to overcome can ensure the struggle that ultimately cost King his life was not for naught. Countless books and documentary films offer invaluable insight into the civil rights era, making them a great resource for individuals who want to honor King and promote his message.

· Listen. The simple act of listening can be a great way to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Sadly, many of the issues King fought against during his lifetime remain unresolved today. Individuals from all walks of life can honor King by listening to those who have taken on his mantle and continued the fight for a more just, equitable society.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is honored each year in the United States on the anniversary of his birth. Individuals can honor his enduring legacy in various ways

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