Martin Luther King, Jr was one of the most notable and recognizable names in the Civil Rights Movement. The work he did laid the ground that the fight is still being fought on to this day. As the youngest living person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35, there’s no telling how much he could have helped accomplish had he not been assassinated just 4 years later.
MLK day is observed on the third Monday of every January, always falling near his birthday of January 15. While President Reagan first signed the holiday into law in 1983 it wasn’t observed officially by all 50 states until the year 2000. The fact that it took 17 years for every state in the country to acknowledge the work Dr. King did serves to show how much work is still left to do.
The task on fighting racism falls on all of us, most especially those in positions to call out racism with minimal repercussions. I know it can feel like an overwhelming job, but it doesn’t need to be. There are a lot of resources if you don’t know where to start.
Ways to keep it going
Something easy and free you can do every day is to call out racist behavior and words when you see it. Donating time and/or money to organizations dedicated to fighting ongoing racism is another thing you can do if you’re in the position to.
- The King Center has a bookstore if you can’t visit the actual campus where you can pick up works by and about Dr. King.
- To support 16 different nonprofits focused on fighting discrimination, Cisco has set up a single fund you can donate to.
- Rhone has compiled a list of reputable organizations you can donate to individually.
- Support Black owned businesses; Oprah has a small list you can check out, or view a larger directory at The Official Black Wall Street.
With 2021 still mostly ahead of us, the year can become what we make it. Nobody should have to continually remind anyone that Black lives still matter, but there’s still a long road to go before it becomes ingrained in everybody that all lives actually matter. Until then we keep reminding everyone that Black Lives Matter.