MLK Day celebrated worldwide


Erinn Gardner

Nationally recognized as a holiday, MLK day serves to honor and respect Martin Luther King as a leader and overall person. While the world receives the day off, they should use it as a day to involve themselves in their community and make it a better place. These acts of service not only aid the community, but they certainly commemorate King and his impact on the world that everyone knows and loves.

Erinn Gardner, Editor in Chief

Every year on the third Monday in January, citizens globally celebrate MLK Day to commemorate the life and legacy of  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While the holiday entails the closing of schools and several workplaces, it really serves as a day on rather than a day off. Today, January 16, people around the world will perform acts of service, educate themselves and strive to help others in honor of King’s impact. 

As a result of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, King first gained national recognition and pushed for the use of peaceful methods to overcome racial segregation. He led other protests, including The March on Washington in 1963. As a key African American civil rights figure of the 1960s, he played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, forbidding discrimination in facilities and employment, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. His tremendous impact on society resulted in King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Unfortunately, James Earl Ray murdered King April 4, 1968, but Congress expeditiously called for a national holiday in his honor in 1970. 

“I feel that I always do something to acknowledge the day which could be going to an MLK event, parade or just by watching something about MLK on Tv. My church has also encouraged us to do some acts of service on MLK Day to help others in need. I’ve done food banks and set up for community events. I try not to think of MLK Day as a day off but a day to honor him and help others the way he did,” magnet senior Brooklyn Bolden said. 

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) in downtown Atlanta went above and beyond for their MLK celebration. They celebrate him year-long with their MLK-Morehouse collection. This past weekend, the center led interactive activities for kids who may not recognize the importance of the holiday. The employees set up tables with chairs, along with “I have a dream” coloring sheets with crayons and markers. Additionally, they provided the children with storytimes, where they read books about MLK’s life and the civil rights movement. NCCHR also held a giveaway table with MLK buttons, notebooks, pencils that say “I have a dream” and tote bags. To put the icing on top of the cake, the center expanded its MLK exhibit for the weekend and added a real copy of MLK’s “I have a dream” speech. 

“What differentiates MLK Day from other holidays like Juneteenth is that we’re really encouraged to fulfill acts of service during that time. One of the ways we think of celebrating him is by doing volunteer work in the community and really trying to get to the heart of his message of community involvement. I’ve always loved the holiday, but I definitely like it more now that I’m working at the center and I’m able to engage with visitors and actually talk to them about Dr. King and share in the message of Dr. King, rather than just kind of keeping it to one day, we kind of keep it all year round,” NCCHR volunteer coordinator Kelly Crosby said. 

Acts of service on the holiday can include volunteering, making toiletry packs for the homeless, donating money and delivering meals. While a handful cannot carry out these acts on MLK day, everyone must know MLK’s legacy, and everything he stood for.