The Meaning Of MLK Day

Britney Maddox, Editor In Chief

“I have a dream…”

Martin Luther King Jr. leading the march on Washington (Photo courtesy

On August 28,1963 Martin Luther King Jr., an American civil rights activist, delivered the famous “ I have a dream” speech

that sought to provoke change in America. To honor MLK Jr. his birthday, January 18th, is a national holiday. 

As an African-American, King is my role model, I look towards his message to guide me through the racial struggles in America. In recent years I’ve noticed a lack of knowledge about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the day only being seen as a vacation day. MLK Day was created to celebrate King’s accomplishments of fighting segregation and advocating for nonviolent protest. King’s fight for equality allowed people such as Eric Holder, Kamala Harris and Oprah Winfrey achieve their positions of influence. Although King made an impact on the civil rights movement African-Americans are continuing to face challenges. According to American Progress, “ [African-Americans] continue to face systematically higher unemployment rates, fewer job opportunities, lower pay, poorer benefits, and greater job instability.”

 Personally, MLK Day is a time for remembrance of his efforts on the fight for racial justice. It is also a day for continuing to embark for racial equality in America.

Since moving to Hawaii, I’ve celebrated every MLK Day, participating in the MLK parade by walking through the streets of Waikiki with my family and friends. After the parade everyone celebrates together with food and music. Going to the MLK Parade is my favorite part of the year because it is a chance to celebrate Black culture and its accomplishments. However with COVID pandemic, the MLK parade was cancelled this year. Although the parade is cancelled I plan to celebrate MLK Day with food and my family.

On this day 92 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. was born and throughout his life fought to pave the way for racial equality. During this day off take the time to appreciate MLK Jr.’s battle with segregation and his impact on future generations.