Monday, January 17, 2011

Newsy: 25th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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American's observe the 25th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to honor the legendary civil rights leader.


It’s a day dedicated to the legacy of one of the most influential leaders in American history. On the 25th anniversary of the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the media is paying tribute to the man- and his dream.

We’re analyzing coverage from the Los Angeles Times, WJBK, MSNBC, and The Guardian.

In honor of the holiday, President Barack Obama encouraged Americans to participate in “appropriate civic, community, and service programs.” The Los Angeles Times quotes the president as saying: “Dr. King devoted his life to serving others... Commemorating Dr. King's life is not only a tribute to his contributions ... but also a reminder that every day, each of us can play a part in continuing this critical work.”

It seems the president’s request didn’t fall on deaf ears, as Detroit’s WJBK shows, many are spending the day trying to spread his message: “There is so much more to do when it comes to the dream. The dream of students like this being able to walk down the street as black Americans, as white Americans, as Asian Americans and say ‘I am equal to everybody else’. It is something they are so striving for and on this day, it is not just a day off, it’s a day to wake up early, hit the streets -- all for this reason.” 

And MSNBC featured Reverend Horace Sheffield as a guest. The Reverend advocates- as a society, we need to reevaluate ourselves, and look toward King for guidance: “He died fighting for peace and here we have people in our country who may not use bullets, may not use guns, but use press releases to be as violent and uncivil towards other people. So I think we gotta find a way to be a little bit more civil toward one another.”

In the Guardian, scholar and former speech writer for Dr. King, Clarence Jones, says despite the progress America has made, we must continue the fight to keep Dr. King’s dream alive: “The essence of his dream for African Americans...was this: a United States where every person has the equal opportunity... But this ‘all other things being equal’ is the lie of race relations in America. Because our country has not leveled the playing field at all.”

The government has set up a website with information on how you can volunteer in your community-- you can check that out in the transcript section of this story.

Written by: Maurice Scarborough



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