Is Martin Luther King Jr. Day just a day off

Martin Luther King Jr., was a civil rights activist who fought for equal rights of African Americans. His life was cut short when James Earl Ray assassinated him on April 4, 1968. (Photo in Public Domain)


On January 20, schools and all federal jobs closed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. The nation reserves this federal holiday to celebrate the life of  King, a Christian minister and activist who led the civil rights movement. 

“King was the first modern private citizen to be honored with a federal holiday,” said Erin Blakemore, a journalist. It wasn’t easy getting Martin Luther King Jr. a spot on the federal holiday calendar: In fact, “It took 15 years to create the federal Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday,” said Shmuel Ross and David Johnson, editors for Infoplease. After 15 years of struggling President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983.

Who was Martin Luther King Jr.

King was not only an advocate for education, he was also a very smart man. King went to college at just 15 years old and graduated from Morehouse in 1948 with a “Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology,” according to . He went back to college at age 25 to obtain his PhD in theology from Boston University. After reading Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience, King was inspired by his message and “would one day change the landscape of our society”. 

Martin Luther King Jr. did a lot for African Americans during the civil rights movement, and to this day he still has an effect on the world. King dedicated his life to fighting for the equality of African Americans before his assassination  in 1968. King did more than just give his famous ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. He fought against poverty, America’s involvement in the Vietnam war, poor work conditions in Memphis, led several civil rights marches, and helped the world and plenty of other ways.

Do people really celebrate it

On the third Monday in January, we take a day to remember the life of the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., or at least that’s what we should do. When it comes to MLK day do people really celebrate it or they just use it as an excuse to sleep in? 

“People tend to forget why we have this day off,” said Anne-Sophie Hill, a senior. If people have no knowledge behind the holiday then they won’t know how to properly celebrate. 

The change in times has a big effect on the lack of recognition of MLK day. Back when the holiday originated, people had more appreciation for it because the world was different. During the civil rights movement, African Americans were fighting for equality, the end of segregation, and justice. After winning this fight, people had great appreciation for Dr. King and all the other civil rights activists. 

It’s as if people have gotten comfortable with the state America is in now that they forgot how it was before.”Society has gotten better,” said Danielle Mankesi, a sophomore. 

America is less segregated than it was before and gives African Americans more opportunity than they had before, but we can’t forget about the people who made it this way.


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