Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Here in the USA, we have a holiday in January celebrating the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. He played a pivotal role in the fight for equal rights in this country. One hundred years after the American Civil War, the black community was still being denied their rights. The right to vote was given to them way before it was given to women (just after the civil war vs early 1900s) but they were still not allowed to register in certain areas of the American south. Local governments made it difficult with various tests and even poll taxes to be paid.

One of the things this meant was that this particular community wasn’t allowed to serve on juries since the jury pool was selected by the voter registration roles. So, all the juries were white and therefore there was no real jury of the peers of these disenfranchised voters.

One of the goals Mr. King set was to right this injustice and he wanted to do so in his non-violent way. Peaceable means to his goals was his watchword. I’ve read about this period in history. I was a very small child at the time so I have no personal recollection of it.

My son and I went to see the movie, “Selma” which tells the story of the march from Selma to Montgomery to try to enforce the voting rights. This movie was compelling and horrific at the same time. I cried through the majority of it and even had to cover my eyes a few times. The injustice, violence and cruelty of the bigots in this time was just astounding. I mean, I knew about how horrible some of the white people in authority were but this film made it real in a way that no reading of a history book could. They didn’t pull any punches- literally and figuratively. Go see it if you can but bring tissues.

The actor in the lead role was amazing. His speeches were stirring and very real. He had to be channeling the real man as he recited them. I also found it interesting that the two lead white characters, President Johnson and George Wallace, were played by British actors- I guess no American wanted to portray them. Can’t say I blame them there.

Happy MLK, Jr, day. Celebrate freedoms.

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10 responses to “Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

  1. Yep. We have a lot of freedoms because of people like Martin Luther King, Jr. Thanks for reminding us. đŸ™‚

  2. Living and growing up in Olympia I don’t remember being subject to race discrimination. I’m sure it was there but it just didn’t touch my life. A sad time that people like Martin Luther King Jr. gave up so much. We are fortunate for his and others sacrifices. Thanks for the reminder.

    • I agree, Lavada. They did sacrifice a lot. I didn’t realized there was so much discrimination- there wasn’t in my own life. We had so many family friends of all races, it just never impacted me like it did so many. I spent a lot of time in black churches and homes and it never dawned on me that there were others who had issues with that. I was one of the lucky ones.

  3. Valerie J. Patterson

    I’ve read many reviews about the movie and all tout the actor that played the lead. Glad to hear they were all so accurate! Hope you enjoyed your day.

  4. I’d really like to see that movie, Jillian, and will keep a watch out for it. These things need highlighting and remembering!

  5. Such a pity this country doesn’t remember it’s great heroes and heroines in the same way.

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