The Westside Gazette Newspaper is honored to featured these editorial contributions made by local students.
By Layla Davidson
January 20, was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a preacher and civil rights activist. He believed in equal rights. King rose to national prominence as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which promoted nonviolent tactics, such as the famous March on Washington, to achieve civil rights.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
In Birmingham, Alabama, King’s campaign to end segregation at lunch counters and in hiring practices drew nationwide attention when police turned dogs and fire hoses on the demonstrators.
King was put in jail along with large numbers of his supporters, including hundreds of schoolchildren. From the Birmingham jail, King wrote a letter of great importance in which he elaborated his idea of nonviolence.
On August 28, 1963, an interracial assembly of more than 200,000 gathered peacefully in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial to demand equal justice for all citizens under the law. Here the crowds were in high spirits due to King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he emphasized his faith that all people, someday, would be brothers and sisters.
In the years after his death, King remained the most widely known African American leader of his era. Many states have King holidays, authorized public statues and paintings of him, and named streets, and schools and other buildings and places after him.
We celebrate King in many ways. In Fort Lauderdale, there was a parade to celebrate Dr. King. At New Mount Olive Baptist Church there was a breakfast and a service. The fraternity that King was a member of, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, had a service to commemorate his life.