Monday, January 17, 2011

3 things in honour of Martin Luther King Day

Twenty five years ago, or thereabouts, on 20th January 1986, the US celebrated Martin Luther King Day for the first time as a federal holiday.

Civil rights activist Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech has a place in history as one of the most moving speeches ever made. If you have time, it's worth watching the whole thing:

If you don't have time, those nice people at the BBC have a copy in full here. 

I also found this site, which has 5 things you may not know about Dr King, really interesting. I particularly liked this quote:

It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has the revolutionary spirit.
Therefore, communism is a judgment against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions that we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism and militarism. With this powerful commitment, we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain."
The whole of the speech that's from is here.  
Although I was only a baby when he was killed, his words and warnings are as relevant today as they were then. This generation has as much to learn from his outlook. That's why I was glad to hear that my 13 year old niece has been studying his life in school. 

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