Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday was first observed as a national holiday on January 20, 1986, which makes today the 28th annual day of celebrating and honoring the life of Dr. King. However, what have you done for him lately? Have you honored him, or have you mocked his name and life accomplishments?
Photo: Public Domain
Living in Atlanta, Georgia where Dr. King was born and began his career, and is also the place of his community center where he and his wife lie in their eternal rest, it is a disgrace to me every time I see a party flyer with his picture on it. Why are we as parents and educators allowing our children to promote and represent Dr. King in such a demeaning way? Dr. King should not be on a flyer with girls “twerking” for “freedom” or men smoking and drinking. This is not what he stood for. However, the problem is not that our children are mis-educated on the history of Dr. King and what he stood for…no not at all. In fact they are very educated, especially in what matters most in America—money.
What our children must understand is that the idea of capitalism does not have any regard for culture, respect, honor, death, nor our struggle and this is where they are mis-educated. Let’s make one thing clear—capitalism and money are the primary reasons that we were stripped from our land and brought to this country to be treated as slaves and a subordinate group of people for centuries to come after legalized slavery had ended. Unfortunately, we have become people that love money more than we do ourselves, because if we truly loved ourselves we would understand the importance of preserving and protecting the legacy of those who paved the way for us…those like Dr. King. By placing Dr. King on a twerking flyer, it demonstrates that we are no better than those who have used us in their capitalistic plot for making money at our expense.
Corporate America has been prostituting and pimping us, our leaders, and even our culture and its legacy for centuries. For example, Honda just recently promoted a commercial in which Dr. King was used as a sales pitch and I wonder how many blacks fell for that distasteful and disrespectful pitch. Let us remember that Dr. King was murdered for fighting for blacks who were poor, disenfranchised, and discriminated against politically and socially. He was not murdered for us to mock his life and legacy along with our oppressors. If you want to do something for him, look into what is going on in your city today to honor him, which includes helping others.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in Atlanta, Georgia
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Project. All Day, Monday, January 20th -FREE Open to the Public
The MLK, Jr. Day of Service, sponsored by Hands On Atlanta, is an opportunity for ordinary citizens can make a difference in the world. It is scheduled to take place on throughout the day Monday, January 20th with diverse community service projects throughout Atlanta in honor of Dr. King. For more information contact: Hands On Atlanta at (404) 979- 2800 or www.handsonatlanta.org. Read more about the MLK Day of Service.
Online, ongoing: The Choose Nonviolence: 100 Days of Nonviolence Campaign- will include daily quotes activities, action steps, questions to encourage dialog around nonviolence. This component will be offered online and through social media. For information, visit www.thekingcenter.org
Monday, January 20, all day: Martin Luther King, Jr. Birth Home Tours- Tours are conducted by the National Park Service.
Monday, January 20, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service- 10 a.m., Ebenezer Baptist Church – Horizon Sanctuary, 407 Auburn Avenue, N.E., Atlanta, GA. Free Open to the Public (Limited Seating). The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service is the spiritual hallmark of the King Holiday Observance Week. The church service is held on the Federal Holiday at Ebenezer Baptist Church located near The King Center. The keynote speaker will be Rev. Raphael Warnock, Senior Pastor Ebenezer Church. The service is an ecumenical endeavor, engaging members of various religious traditions, and state national and international governments.
Monday, January 20, 1:45-4:00 p.m. King Week Holiday March & Rally. March will began at Peachtree Street at Baker Street (Xernona Clayton Way). It will end with a rally on Auburn Avenue in the King National Park Area. The areas of concern are education, technology, medical, investment, transportation, housing environmental justice, job creation, conflict resolution, interfaith, cultural exchange, peace, justice, and voter registration.