Today, many people will take time to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. While I am strictly against elevating men to a point beyond simple admiration, I also believe that it is important to take time and to be thankful for progress that has brought our country beyond a time of legalized hate and mistreatment of people.
Overall, I believe in a sovereign God who utilized and purposed things to happen to bring about the civil rights movement. But as well I am thankful for Martin Luther King specifically because he fought to not only see some progress for minorities in our country but to see equality set as the standard. He could have been satisfied early on and not continued to press against systemic issues to bring about equality for African American’s. But he didn’t.
Here are 4 reasons that I unapologetically celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
1) Because of my marriage.
Being in an interracial marriage, I have become more aware of the racial plight that our country suffers from. I have seen racism and the mistreatment of minorities to a small extent, but I can only imagine the way of life while Jim Crow Laws were still legal and in full force.
My interracial marriage was not legal in my own state until 1967. While Martin Luther King did not fight strictly for Interracial Marriage, to act as if the fight for Civil Rights did not lead to the eventual legalization of Interracial Marriage is foolish.
2) Because of my children.
While this may appear to be because all of my children are at least partially African-American, I feel this is needed to be understood for all children.
For the sins of the previous generation not to be brought back by the next generation, they must see the realities of racial injustice. They are living out the benefits of what Martin Luther King was fighting for, but they need to see the monster of a system that he was fighting against. His fight was against a system of hate, ignorance, injustice and greed that did more than separating blacks and whites, but enslaved the minds into thinking and believing that due to their skin tone, they were less quality of individuals. People who were made in the Image of God.
That is why my children (and all children) need to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King, so that in their time they would prevent the construction of a system of hate like Jim Crow again.
3) Because of my church(New Breed Church).
I live in Louisville, Ky. The home of Muhammad Ali. The famous boxer who shined light on the racial injustices that our city had embraced. I live in a neighborhood that is predominately African-American. The local park in our neighborhood had at one time been the cities largest amusement park and had rejected African American’s from attending.
In the local high school in our neighborhood meets our local church. We aren’t the type of church you can easily label. We are diverse. We are really committed to Jesus and the local community that we love.
Being apart of a local church that has pastors, leaders and members that are white and black has shown me so many beautiful things. I honestly believe that Martin Luther King would walk into our church and weep for joy to see so many people from different backgrounds coming together to worship God.
4) Because I am a Christian.
As a bible-believing follower of Jesus, the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is a legacy I support. While I may not stand on similar ground with him on all spheres theologically, and understand his fallibility; the truths of justice and love that he spoke of often, I hold to as a Christian. When he talks of equality for all people, as someone who knows how level the ground of the cross of Christ is for all men, I completely agree. As someone who believes that we are all made in the Image of God, I look at the value he emphasized for all life worldwide and I fully agree that all life is valuable.
My belief in the God of Justice in the bible brings me to look at the fights Martin Luther King fought for in his time and I can only be grateful. Grateful for his willingness to speak up. Grateful for the progress that has been made in our country. And Grateful for God ultimately purposing the changes that were made.
Those are four of many reasons why today is a day that I remember the legacy of Martin Luther King. and am thankful for the fights that he fought.