In remembrance of MLK

Makayla Archambeault

Every third Monday of January, students around the country get a day off school to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights leader that led our nation in combating racial segregation.

King is known most famously for his “I Have A Dream” speech in which he spoke out against segregation and declared that he dreamed for his four children to be able to “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

“[After the speech] meeting discrimination and segregation head-on became a political must [due to King’s impact],” Amy Marriott said.

King’s impact on the lives of those living at the time in a nonviolent way sparked the flame that is still burning in the lives of everyone today. King went on the become the youngest person to date to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, however he was assassinated a short four years later.

The King Holiday Bill was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Nov. 2, 1983. The bill was fifteen years in the making and a high point of controversy in Confederate States. The bill finally went into effect in all states in 2000 when South Carolina signed a bill to recognize the day as a paid holiday.

For the 36 years that this holiday has been celebrated, King’s achievements are still relevant, as they were in the 1980’s.

“In terms of racism and civil rights, we still have a long way to go, especially for equal opportunities for blacks in this country, his dream is still a dream at this point, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done,” senior Erik Bossier said.

As far as what this paid holiday represents is more of a remembrance of King’s struggle during his time period, and a recognition of the struggle that people still face today.

“With that day off, I feel like it’s a reminder of, ‘Let’s take a look back and see what has been accomplished, and what still needs to be accomplished,’” Bossier said, “the message and the dream still lives on to this day, and will continue, I have no doubt about that.”