What is MLK Day?
Martin Luther King Jr was a prominent civil rights leader and advocated for the end of racial segregation. King Jr became notable for his work with the Montgomery, AL bus boycott in 1955, founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, helping pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and was awarded a Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964.
After King’s death, many people wished to honor his memory by creating a national holiday in his honor. Several states and cities made January 15 a holiday since it was King’s birthday. Legislation passed in 1983 to make the third Monday in January a federal holiday.
What are some ways to observe MLK Day?
- Watch the famous “I Have a Dream Speech.”
- Do some research about MLK to learn more about him and what he believed. There are books, documentaries, and numerous articles available for people interested.
- Do something creative like drawing or coloring pages. Check out this article about MLK and the liberty bell or incorportating aspects of the “I Have a Dream Speech” into crafts.
- Take a virtual tour of a museum like the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis or see if there are events at your local library.
- Participate in person or virtually in a march. Martin Luther King, Jr led a March in Washington in March of 1963. Today there are often marches commemorating this event.
- Join Hope College at 5pm in the Schaap Auditorium for a panel and mixer. This event will be followed by a showing of King in the Wilderness at 5:45 p.m.