Fighting the same fight 49 years later

Honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

April 4, 2017

Photo by: Ron Cogswell (CC BY 2.0)
Photo by: Ron Cogswell (CC BY 2.0)

On this day 49 years ago, a pillar of resistance against oppression and racism was killed by a white supremacist. Martin Luther King Jr. chose to be a leader during a time of violence and racial segregation in America. As an unapologetically black man, King stood on the front lines of the fight when his country was torn between those who upheld American values and those who failed to recognize the human dignity of all people; those who stood for equality and those who saw race and color as a reason to divide the nation. He laid the foundation for civil rights recognition and social activism throughout the world.

Today, 49 years later, innocent black men and women are still victims of police brutality.

Just this week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a 90 day delay and sweeping federal review of civil rights cases brought by the Justice Department against police departments.

On this anniversary of King’s assassination, especially during this time of increasing racial tensions, it is critical for us to understand King’s multifaceted approach to social change as we also hold our authorities accountable for the unjust treatment of the black community. He was strategic in intersecting various forms of resistance, including both protest and civil disobedience. His methodology in achieving local and federal policy change was built by a religious and faith-based perspective. King’s Christian faith was his foundation to emphasizing peace and equality among all human beings.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s understanding of his faith and spirituality instilled in him the need to address the grievances of those who were most vulnerable. As people of faith, we must advocate for policies that are conscious of the socially and economically disadvantaged. This is how we will honor his legacy and build off of the work that he started.

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