Martin Luther King Jr.: More than a Holiday

Decades later, King's life still impacts people.

Jeronimo Bernot

Claire Underwood, Editor

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On the third Monday of every January, people across the globe come together to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact on civil rights. While recognizing and cherishing the change he brought society, many forget the sacrifice King made to change the world.

Born in 1929 as Michael King Jr., he was raised in a large family in Georgia. Michael King Sr., King’s father, ministered to a small church in Atlanta. After a trip to Germany, King Sr. changed his name to Martin Luther (after the famous German protestant religious) to solidify his love for Christ. Following in his father’s footsteps, Michael King Jr. changed his name to the infamous title we know today.

As a young man, King was an exceptional student. He skipped his 9th and 11th years of high school, and at the age of 15, he enrolled in Morehouse College. He later graduated with a degree in Sociology and went on to earn his masters in Theology. After his masters degree, King attended Boston University where he secured his doctorate degree at the young age of 25.

While in college, King became more outspoken against racial inequality and began using Christianity as a force for social change. When legendary civil rights figure Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man after an exhausting day at work, King came into the limelight as a pastor of Dexter Avenue Montgomery Church in Alabama; he was the obvious choice to lead Montgomery Bus Boycott. His protest was successful, and after over a year of African Americans walking to work, the state of Alabama finally lifted the law on segregated buses.

Through his eloquence and vision, King became the face of the Civil Rights Movement and inspired all people, no matter the color of their skin. The enormous impact he had on the United States is still prevalent decades later.

Years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed his dream for all people to live in peace and harmony. In this new age, we have the power to make his thoughts a reality. Our world is not, and never will be, perfect, but if we follow the wisdom of those before us, society can be changed for the better.