MLK Day is more then simply a day off, it holds an important message
“These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born.” said Martin Luther King Jr. in his A Time to Break the Silence speech.
Last Monday marked the country’s annual day of recognition towards civil rights leader and minister Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A contention day to some as increasing more citizens have come to see the commodification and sanitization of MLK’s legacy to be problematic. Many efforts have been made across the nation to realign this day with his actual messages of racial and economic justice, not only through the medium of peaceful protest, but also civil disobedience and radical structural change. Many of the MLK events in Humboldt could be found partaking in this national movement.
Local bilingual and charter elementary school, Fuente Nueva, last Friday celebrated the upcoming holiday through a series of black guest speakers from organizations ranging from Black Humboldt, Eureka’s NAACP, B-Men, and many more. After the event’s collection of inspiring speeches, delivered to the awaiting children located in the front rows, all attendees were invited to walk a mile march in remembrance of MLK’s own March on Washington.
HSU held its own MLK event on Monday as well. Starting in the early hours of 8am and hosted by Youth Educational Services (Y.E.S), the event was labelled “A Day On, Not A Day Off” and focused on community service volunteering. Guest speakers included our own Dean of Students, Dr. Eboni Ford-Turnbow, and prominent activist Bree Newsome. Volunteering activities ranged from on campus to off, Arcata to Eureka, and included a variety of public services. For many students and community members in Humboldt, MLK Day was not simply a vacation but an opportunity to give back and to keep Martin Luther King Jr’s dream truly alive.