Taking Over the King’s Dream

On Monday, the nation celebrated the birthday of one of the most influential leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On this day, students stepped away from their busy school schedules, and remembered one of the darkest periods in American History. Meanwhile, many other students remembered this day as more than just a time to contemplate the past.

“[It’s] important to know where we [African Americans] came from,” stated Lamont Gilliam, a sophomore. “If we did not celebrate Dr. King’s birthday day or Black history month, the future generations would not know where we came from. This is more of a celebration of where we have come from and where we will go.”

Chris Kelly, a first year student, sees King’s birthday as a time to remember the sacrifices that he and others made.

“[It is a time to] also think about how we’re going to honor those sacrifices,” Kelly stated.

The country has seen great changes on this issue in the past 60 years.

“If it were not for Dr. King and the sacrifices that he made, I believe that we would still live in a segregated world,” said Tray Amador, a sophomore.

While the Civil Rights Movement was a fight for African American rights, it accomplished much more than that. It afforded all groups within the nation to form a homogenous community in which people are judged by the content of their characters, and not their skin color. In addition, it impacted everyone personally, regardless of race or ethnicity.

“I’m here, in college getting my education,” stated Gillam. “I have the opportunity to further myself, and then do what I can for other members of my community no matter where they have come from.”

“[King’s sacrifice] gave us diversity,”  added Amador. “College is amazing… You meet so many different people from various walks of life. The ability to interact with people, without being limited to those who look like me, is one of the best gifts we’ve been given”.

People can admit that their lives have been deeply impacted by the friendships they have made with those outside of their own races. Kelly’s best friend is African American.

“I could not imagine not having him in my life,” Kelly explained. “I am proud to call him my best friend because he has a great character and an amazing heart”.

There is still a long way to King’s dream, but Gilliam offered a very simple solution to prejudicism.

“Be the change you want to see in the world,” he said. “Fight for what you believe in.”