Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Photo Credit: The Seattle Times
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Each January since 1986, Americans celebrate and honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the leader of the modern American Civil Rights Movement for 13 years – from December 1955 until April 4, 1968, when he was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
Regarded as one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history, Dr. King used protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience (beginning in 1955 with the Montgomery Bus Boycott) to achieve legal equality for African Americans in the United States and to fight for economic justice and international peace. Throughout all his efforts and campaigns, he always remained true to his principle that “men and women everywhere, regardless of color or creed, are equal members of the human family” (The King Center).
In St. Louis, commemoration activities abounded all weekend, including movie and documentary screenings, community readings of Dr. King’s writing and speeches, service projects, keynote speakers, worship services, performances, award ceremonies, and more. This past Monday, the annual City of St. Louis Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Ceremony, with its theme of “The Dream Is Ours,” kicked off at the Old Courthouse with speeches and performances. Following, hundreds of participants began their more than 30-block march from the Old Courthouse to Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church, where Dr. King spoke on his first occasion in St. Louis, for an interfaith ceremony.
MLK celebrations continue well into this week and next month (February is African American Heritage Month), as well – see a comprehensive list of the St. Louis region’s commemoration activities here.
The Old Courthouse will host various African American Heritage Month programs and events throughout February. Please check www.gatewayarch.com for more details.