Celebrating Dr. King’s Legacy

On Monday, our country and school community celebrated what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s 88th birthday. Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech permeated racial, social, and gender boundaries, and continues to resonate with civil rights movements around the world. The speech is frequently taught in schools surrounding his annual celebration because in addition to being inspirational and illustrating the inequalities felt by the African American community, Dr. King’s ad-libbed address makes numerous references to historical and biblical texts.

As women around the world prepare for this weekend’s Women’s Marches, we are reminded of the March on Washington and the power held by groups working together for a greater good. The March on Washington on August 28, 1963 was attended by no less than 250,000 people who traveled from all over the country to partake and hear from leaders of the civil rights movement. Despite unfortunate circumstances, Americans were inspired by a deep-rooted passion to be a part of a movement that was greater than themselves because they knew that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. Families traveled by car, train, bus, any means that would get them to Washington, D.C. for that fateful and sweltering day. Despite harrowing circumstances and difficulties traveling to Washington D.C., Americans persisted because they wanted to be a part of the imminent and necessary change.

Marches and protests have a long-standing history of instigating American political and legislative reform. The Boston Tea Party, a defining moment in the creation of our nation, was a protest of the English government. Since then, protests have been staples of American history, resulting in progressive change that was appropriate for our country’s developing social, economic, and civic climate. From the Suffrage movement at the turn of the 20th century to the Occupy Wall Street and anti-war demonstrations of the past decade, protests are a way for citizens to be heard and make a difference.

Whether or not you choose to partake in this weekend’s Women’s March, remember that protests and public movements are teachable moments. Even if you do not agree with the change at hand, understanding alternative lifestyles and points of view is a critical element of being an American. Just like the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, history is unraveling before our eyes and it is our job to understand why.

In his final days, Dr. King spoke about having been to the mountaintop, but he also spoke of the difficult days that lied ahead. Where there is one mountain, there are many more to conquer.

To learn more about the legacy of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, click here >

Seven Arrows has two special Black History Month kuyams coming up in early February:

February 3 at 8:15am, Black History Month dance performance featuring Alvin Ailey’s Revelations.
February 10 at 8:15am, Black History Month cultural celebration featuring special guests.