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A student’s perspective: MLK is just as important today

BY AMARI GAYDEN

EAST ST. JOHN HIGH SCHOOL

Martin Luther King Jr. is just as important in our present times as he was in our past times. 

He not only was a prolific orator and writer, but a charismatic minister and leader, committed to the Civil Rights Movement, a movement that inspired equal rights for all, still today.  His most acclaimed work is his “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he talked about his dream of an America drained of segregation and prejudice. He left a lasting legacy of strength and resilience for us all.  He desired to see unity and equality in the masses without respect of race, creed or color. Being that Martin was a minister, reverend   and pastor, I often wonder about God when the Bible says that God is no respecter of persons.  My question then to myself and to others is: “Who are we to form bias and prejudice mindsets of those who were created like us all, in God’s image? Every race belongs to God.  He created each one with its own unique set of individual differences. If the Creator of us all loves us all, then why can’t we love each other?  Like Martin, I am an avid dreamer, dreaming often about what my Heaven on Earth may look like or be like.  One thing I know for sure is that since God is love, there is no hate in Heaven.  No haters allowed. Martin was surely trying to prepare us all for the Promised Land here on Earth in America, and also he was trying to prepare us for the Promised Land through his sermons, speeches and marches.

          Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “No person has the right to rain on your dream.” This quote has inspired me to become the person I am today. However, my favorite quote is, “If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”  This motivates me since it advises me to concentrate on the present, leaving the past behind. It compels me to stay focused and keep moving forward no matter what obstacles try to stop me.  He was a dreamer with purpose who put action behind his dreams.  He did not stop believing in his dreams simply because others may have.  He pursued them unselfishly to help create better lives with justice and equality.

        We keep Martin’s dream alive by living up to our own dreams, concentrating on them, and putting action to our dreams, so they, too, can come true.  One should have the option to discover something that he or she can do and remain with it no matter how long it takes.  Even until Martin Luther King’s death and even after his death, we keep his dream alive today.  He was not just a dreamer, but a responder. His movement changed not only America, but the entire world.  What a lasting legacy!