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What does it mean to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. 52 years later

By Sophia Abbasi, Social Media Manager

We know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the morally ambitious fearless leader in the fight for civil rights, the father of a movement that amplified the need for racial equality in all spaces, and the pacifist that called for all of us to uphold the true meaning of the creed that “all men are created equal.” 

A photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. smiling and sitting in a crowd

But he wasn’t just a civil rights activist — he was a champion for the working people. Dr. King called out the government for their bullshit, held protests with workers on strike for more pay, and reminded us that in order to bring about positive change, we have to give a f**k. (Not to mention, Dr. King was a controversial badass in his approach — he was arrested 29 times for his peaceful protests, and called out politicians for going to war instead of helping the poor). 

So on a day like today, the anniversary commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., what does it mean to truly honor the legacy of a man that made it possible for us to enjoy a cup of coffee with anyone we want, wherever we want? 

A black and white photo of Martin Luther King Jr. with his wife and his daughter

Kindness: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” One message that Dr. King always reminded us is to practice kindness. Today has long been celebrated by being of service to others — whether it be volunteering in a community, or going out of your way to help a friend, extending kindness is something we can all do today. 

A photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sitting at a kitchen table with his daughter

Integrity:The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The notion that justice will always prevail, that evil will always be overcome with good, is a necessary message to remember. Dr, King called for governments, institutions, and communities to do the right thing. 

A photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being apprehended by police

Nonviolence: “Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.” Dr. King will forever be known for getting his message across in a nonviolent way. He believed that this strategy of nonviolent resistance would bring people together, those with differing opinions, and create lasting peace through reconciliation.

A photo of Martin Luther King Jr. flashing a peace symbol

Great: “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” Dr. King knew that when it came to the fight for equal rights, doing smaller things with a lasting impact was the way to get there. It’s the little things that bring us all together because the little things eventually add up to the big things.

If anything, honoring the legacy of Dr. King should be done so by giving a f**k — for your neighbor, co-worker, even the person that walks too slowly in front of you at the grocery store. Because let’s be honest, we know all too well what not giving a f**k looks like.