Martin Luther King, Jr holiday

January 21, 2006 at 12:21 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I have a beef with this being a national holiday. No, it’s not because I have anything against King. He was a bright light during a dark time. My issue is that no one recognizes all of the others who preceded him, making it possible for him to do what he did. And there were many. Civil rights has been in the works since colonial times. Women were fighting for their rights; abolitionists were fighting to rid America of slavery. The abolitionists became more militant in the 1830s, culminating in the Civil War, which was not about slavery no matter what many history teachers say. King has many people to thank for his ability to be able to speak as he did:

William Lloyd Garrison, one of the first well-known abolitionists

Frederick Douglass, another very well-known abolitionist

Susan B. Anthony, a suffragist and abolitionist

Elizabeth Cady Standon, suffragist and abolitionist

David Walker, abolitionist

Harriet Beecher Stowe, author and abolitionist

Sojourner Truth, abolitionist and freed slave

Alice Paul

Rosa Parks

As well as many, many others who are less well-known or not known at all. What bothers me is everyone else is forgotten in this desire to honor King. He was not the only one, not to mention the three young men who died in their quest for civil rights. Many of these people gave their lives, and I mean, spent their entire lives fighting for civil rights. So, why do we forget them? I have my theories, but I will let you make your own.

What do I suggest? A Civil Rights Day. This would be a day to recognize everyone who worked to create a better society by fighting for the rights of us all.



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  1. Yes, those others are indeed less publicized, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t recognized. You will learn about those other figures in literature classes and also “history” classes. King’s timing couldn’t have been better.

  2. You have a point, but the way I see it, in celebrating MLK day, you acknowledge all those before him.

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