Honoring & celebrating the Civil Rights Movement
According to history books, the civil rights movement “ended” in 1968, when Dr. King was assassinated. However, the fight for racial equality is ongoing. Though the “separate by equal” doctrine was struck down by the US Supreme Court in 1954, racial segregation still persists in the American school system. School districts with mostly white students receive billions more in funding than those with mostly students of color.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day gives us a chance to reflect on how we can carry on the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement by fighting for justice and equality. As a place to start, I highly recommend reading and listening to learn about this topic. Learn more about the racial disparities in education, policing, incarceration, and enfranchisement. Listen to Dr. King’s speeches. Read speeches by other civil rights activists, including We May Yet Not Only Survive, We May Triumph by Coretta Scott King and The Ballot or the Bullet by Malcolm X. Education is only a step toward greater justice, but it is an important one.
To end, I want to share a quote from “The New Jim Crow,” one of the most insightful books I’ve ever read, written by Michelle Alexander:
“We should hope not for a colorblind society but instead for a world in which we can see each other fully, learn from each other, and do what we can to respond to each other with love. That was King’s dream—a society that is capable of seeing each of us, as we are, with love. That is a goal worth fighting for.”