Teens owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. King

By Valaysia Smith
Teen Reporter

The nation celebrates the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday Monday. It’s important for teens to know as much about him as possible.

Martin Luther King Jr. aka MLK is most known for bringing down racial barriers. He played a part in the act in the American Civil Rights Movements from the mid-1950s through 1968.

He fought for equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and all victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was a powerful person behind watershed events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 1963 March on Washington, this helped bring landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act into place. Martin Luther King Jr. has also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for these acts. MLK was born on January 15, 1929. Take notes guys, that’s four days away.

Unfortunately, he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony at a motel he was staying at. The fact that people would go far enough to find where someone is currently staying to do that is sad. This motel in Memphis is where Mr. King was staying to support the Sanitation Workers’ Strike. There are said to have been numerous raids after his passing but President Johnson decided that we all take a national day to mourn him. The man that delivered the shot: James Earl Ray did plead guilty to this in court and was sentenced to ninety-nine (99) years in prison. He is said to have originally been an escaped convict and a well-known racist or uh for the kids we should say judgy.

Teens can learn a lot about Martin Luther King from plays that teach, black history, YouTube, and other helpful sources such as History.com, and books from the library.

There’re so many ways teens can learn about Dr. King.

I believe we should hold our heads high. We should add to what he’s helped us become by being a great community the best we can.

It’s a relief that we are more diverse now than in the past. We have segregation in public accommodations. We don’t have to take separate buses or experience as much racism as before in schools and other public places.

There are still many who have not embraced Dr. King’s dream. Even if we do have a small crowd of people that still have blackened hearts, we should ignore them and push on.

And before we end here, how about I leave you guys with the fun fact that Martin Luther King Jr. actually went to college at just fifteen (15) years old!

Awesome right!

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