What Should MLK Day be About?
Martin Luther King Jr. defied the odds during his time. He had a dream for all the African Americans around the world for there to be a time when there was no racism. He was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism during the Civil Rights Movement. King was assassinated in 1968, and the campaign for a federal holiday began. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983. Every third Monday of January is now recognized as Martin Luther King Jr Day, a date that is near his birthday, January 15, 1929.
MLK Day is only observed by a few workplaces and schools. In 2007 it was reported that 33% of workplaces gave their employees the day off. Additionally, many schools and places of higher education are closed for classes; others remain open but may hold seminars or celebrations of King’s message. The observance of MLK Day has led to some colleges and universities to extending their Christmas break to include the day as part of the break.
However many schools remain open and do not talk about the importance of King during his time and what his impact has had on the world today. People today don’t see and can’t see how different things are from what they were because they never experienced anything other than now. Schools also don’t spend the time to talk about that time era and the changes that came out of it other than when it comes up in U.S. History curriculum.
I think that schools could still have classes on MLK day if they need it to get hours and days in for the school years. However, we should spend more time talking about how his actions have changed society today. I also think that it would help solve some of the problems that we have in today’s society with racism and break down the barrier of skin color that is still around today.