• Sunmisola Adeyemi

Celebrating MLK Unhypocritically

I worked with a state agency in California as a student assistant. This position required writing abilities, so the interview had a writing portion. The question "If you could meet someone influential, dead or alive, write a note on what you would tell them." The interview was in August, and my immigrant brain had not learned much about American history. After giving it a brief thought, I chose Reverend Martin Luther King as the iconic figure I desperately wanted to meet. I got the job, the man's existence slipped to my subconscious, and I continued my life par usual. He became history to me.

On the 17th of every January, we take time off from work in America due to a federal holiday called Martin Luther King's day. In straightforward terms, MLK day is the birthday of a man who was non-complacent with racial injustice in America. Although a part of me is appalled his assassination happened less than sixty years ago, I cannot deny another part of me is relieved we celebrate his birthday rather than his death.

Do we celebrate him? Or is it mostly clout? Have you ever watched any MLK speech from start to finish or just snippets of the highlights of those speeches? Perhaps just enough highlight to have "woke" arguments with your millennial friends. Today, as we celebrate yet another MLK day, I feel challenged to spend time listening to some of his speeches. To soak it humbly, honor it, and remember it. Remember it, not for clout but as a monument of how far we have come as a society and how far we still have to go.

Here are ten Martin Luther King speeches to celebrate him unhypocritically;

  1. 'I've been on the mountaintop" April 3rd, 1968 (A day before he was murdered)

  2. "Montgomery Bus Boycott speech" 1955

  3. "Proud to be maladjusted" 1962

  4. 'I have a dream" 1963

  5. "The American Dream" 1963

  6. "Acceptance Speech at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony"1964

  7. "Our God is Marching On" 1965

  8. "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence" 1967

  9. "The Other America" 1967

  10. "The Three Evils of Society" 1967

Add your speech suggestions in the comment sections. Also, link MLK-related resources to help our community live well, love well, and serve well. Knowledge is power. Knowledge illuminates the mind and radiates on the face.

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