For those who do not know, Martin Luther King Jr. was not only an activist for the civil rights movement, he was also an American Baptist Minister and the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His Christian beliefs led him to practice civil disobedience and nonviolence. He was also greatly inspired by the nonviolent works of Mahatma Ghandi. Years later, we are still remembering King’s example.
Photo: The New York Public Library on Unsplash
In King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech he states, “when the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men - yes, black as well as white men - would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
I believe that King’s teachings were extraordinary. The basic truth that he preached is applicable towards all races, genders and really any dividing label. We may all be different, but this is what makes us special and unique.
These differences simply show the extensive beauty of humankind and that we all have worth and value. As Diana Prince quotes in my favorite movie Wonder Woman, “It is not about what we deserve, it is about what we believe.” Regardless of who we look like we are worthy of value and respect. In order for this idea to become truth, we must believe it ourselves first and then act on it.
Granted, this country has come a long way. Through the struggles of our ancestors we have been able to progress towards accepting others for the person that they are.
We must learn from the past. National holidays and history books remind us of people who have lived before us. People who have struggled and grown through even the most difficult situations because they had faith and did what was right. The legacies they have left behind must be remembered and learned from.
Instead of losing hope that there can be peace in the world, it is time for America once again to remember King’s famous words from his famous speech. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal’”. We need to realize that we have the ability to transform the future of our nation, and ultimately the world.
My name is Anne Demarest. I am 21 years old and a senior at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. My major is Fashion Merchandising, and I am currently finishing up a minor in Communications. I care deeply about making a positive change in the world, and am very passionate about mental health. My fun fact is that I dream of being a motivational speaker to help others realize their potential and inner beauty.