By: Naomi Merlain, News Reporter (@NMerlain)
What would America look like without Martin Luther King Jr? Would African-Americans still be held down by the segregated mindset of what was the American people? Would we be as proud, strong and liberated as we are today? Had Dr. King, not taken on the responsibility of leading millions into justice and freedom, would there be an Obama? An Oprah? Jesse Jackson or Ta-Neishi Coates?
These are the questions I ask myself, as I am reminded the purpose and sovereignty that today holds. On April 4, 1968, a man who had become the face of a movement that shifted the social direction of our country and lead millions towards a social, economic and federal salvation, was found dead on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee.
The conventional norms of America were redirected due to the legacy left behind by the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. In 13 short years, the simple Georgia-born preacher invaded the social structures of America and rearranged them to benefit African-Americans. His leadership, faith and strength joined together people of all races and under the sound of his voice were many moved so deeply to tears, to bravery and towards social justice. The transformative weight of his activism left an imprint for generations.
He was a man who breathed courage into the lives of others and into those same people, made activist out of them. His wisdom, and strategic mindset, destroyed laws, and remade new ones. His prophetic voice changed the heart of America and created a future that seem unimaginable to the black race. Now, every year, on April 4th, whether black, yellow or white, today stands as a day of remembrance. People from all over America will take a second to remember how far we have come as a people, but most importantly how far we have come because of Martin Luther King Jr’s bravery, ambition, and wisdom.