On Monday, January 18, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and the recognition of this day is more important than ever this year. Our country and our communities are in turmoil on multiple fronts as we live day to day with events and circumstances that we never thought could occur in the United States of America.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a social activist and a Baptist minister who advocated for peaceful protest. From the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, King sought equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and all victims of injustice.

King was the driving force behind events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 in recognition of his influence and accomplishments.

A believer in peaceful protest, kindness and service, King would not know what to make of the situation in our country. There is no single event that brought us to where we are today, but violence and bloodshed is not the way to peace and unity. Each of us must do our part to be a good neighbor and do what is right for our community.

I have two Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes that stand out to me this year.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

This year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day make a commitment to do what you can do peacefully protest against evil and to take a stand during these times of challenge and controversy.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Madison Senior Center and a link back to the original post.

Category: Events