This day, officially observed on the third Monday of January, annually, is the only national holiday honoring an American not of European birth or descent. Today commemorates the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an African-American advocate of civil rights, justice and peace for all people throughout the world. He was born on January 15, 1929, to Rev. Michael J. King, Sr., and Alberta Williams King. At birth he was named after his father who legally changed both of their given names in tribute to the German religious reformer, Martin Luther, in 1934.
During his lifetime and beyond, the Reverend Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., was often considered a controversial figure of questionable integrity and intent, especially by the then-closeted (secret) homosexual FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, a proven racist. His supporters championed his devotion to his faith, equality, freedom, justice, non-violence and peace for all humanity. His detractors viewed him as a communist, subversive and totally un-American.
The Reverend Dr. King headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) an organization he founded and is best remembered for his nonviolent protests and activism against institutionalized racial discrimination and segregation in the USA. His actions led to the landmark U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 and to the U.S. Voting Rights Act of 1965 that theoretically outlawed the often legally sanctioned sanctioned practices that forced African-Americans to endure second-class citizenship.
In 1964, Dr. King was awarded by King Gustaf VI Adolph of Sweden the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1977, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Jimmy Carter.
It is both historically ironic and significant that the Reverend Dr. Martin L. King, Jr, the first African-American to be honored on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., had his memorial dedicated by the very first African-American President, Barack Hussein Obama, on August 22, 2011. A singular honor for both men!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Friday, January 21, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu Tribute!”