Shacorria Green stood in front of her whole school as she read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and sang Sam Cook’s “A Change is Gonna Come” at the tender age of eight. This was the first time Green would actively participate in celebrating MLK Day through the programs organized by her school.
Green, the president of NAACP, explained that as a child of color, her family made sure that she was aware of Martin Luther King Jr. by informing her of the things he did and giving her MLK Jr. books throughout her school years. Learning about MLK also motivated her to lead the NAACP chapter in our school.
“MLK Jr. Day, in my opinion, is a celebration of all the milestones and achievements that Dr. King endured to ensure that African Americans were treated equally and could finally come together as one with the whites,” Green said.
Queen Bolden, a senior radiologic technology major, said that MLK Day is a big holiday in her household. The first time she honored MLK Day was as a preteen through breakfast and marching in honor of the impact of MLK’s work on the advancement of the civil rights movement.
“MLK Day means, to me, equality for all and a day to reflect what Martin Luther King wanted for the world and how he changed America with his non-violence practices,” Bolden said.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we have had to adjust our usual traditions, from July 4th to Thanksgiving, Christmas and even new year celebrations.
Now, we will have to make some changes to our normal MLK celebrations to comply with the COVID restrictions.
However, just because we cannot go out to the marches in honor, that does not mean we cannot still go out and give back to our communities in honor of MLK Day this year.
“One way we can give back to our community is assisting Dr. Saulsberry with getting supplies and getting them delivered to communities while wearing our masks. Dr. Saulsberry does it every year, and it is something that I take pride in assisting with,”Green said.
Green also explained that another way is to read and explain the “I Have A Dream” speech to surrounding schools while social distancing. Students can also go out to clean our community.
For more creative students, they can design and display art dedicated to MLK Jr. and the civil rights movement. They can either do this virtually or in a socially distanced setting.
“Some suggestions I have for college students to give back on MLK are volunteering at a local soup kitchen or a local shelter, donating foods and toiletries,” Bolden said.
Bolden said that she would say, to students that are hesitant, that MLK Day is about coming together from all races.
Martin Luther King dreamed of the whole world coming together as one and to fellowship with one another. MLK Day is about unity.