Jan 18, 2022
2 mins read
Martin Luther King Jr.'s family didn't celebrate MLK Day. His son Martin Luther King III requested that people focus on getting the Freedom to Vote Act passed.
"Be engaged. Right now, it is about protecting, preserving and expanding voting rights," Martin Luther King III told CBS News.
"We're calling for no celebration without legislation," his wife, Arndrea Waters King, added. "We can't celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. without having the legislation, the cornerstone of his legacy, the cornerstone of our democracy, solidified."
On Tuesday the Senate will debate over new voting rights protections. Dr. King's son spent the weekend leading up to the holiday marching for voting rights in Phoenix. He and his wife urged people to use MLK Day as a "day on" rather than a "day off". On Monday they participated in a peace walk in Washington.
In the past, it was my tradition to listen to and share the most famous sequence of the "I have a dream" speech on MLK Day. The surging melody and cadence of the sequence always brings me to tears. I love it because it stirs my soul. I also struggle with how people who have no real interest in Dr. King's vision weaponize it.
"Please don't act like everyone loved my father. He was assassinated. A 1967 poll reflected that he was on of the most hated men in America...Many who quote him now and evoke him to deter justice today would likely hate, and may already hate, the authentic King." ~Bernice King
Last year, I read the entire "I have a dream" speech out loud. I reveled in the radical parts of the speech rarely shared on social media or discussed in schools. This year I did not feel compelled to listen or share any of it. It still resonates but I know there is so much more.
I shared his family's request instead.
"He was a man with a family not only a dream." ~Tania's Take
Here are some more things we can do to continue his legacy:
Learn as much as we can about the Freedom to Vote Act.
Write to our Senator and tell them to vote Yes.
Let's honor him through action today and every day after that.