Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Day 2015 Getty Image:AFP/Stringer

The third Monday of the first month of 2020 will mark the auspicious day of the year- Martin Luther King Day. To some it may just be a national holiday, but did you know that the day was set aside to honor most determined and famous civil-rights activist the United States of America ever saw?

The year 1955 in the history of America saw the rise of Rev. Dr. King’s peaceful struggle against racial discrimination. He led a boycott protesting vehemently against the laws that made it mandatory for blacks and whites to sit in separate sections on buses. King’s journey was never easy- as a result of his protest he was jailed, endured torture, and was rendered homeless when his home was bombed. But the man was far from giving up and in 1956, at last, the Supreme Court declared the partial laws unconstitutional.

Remembered fondly and with pride for his “I Have a Dream” speech from 1963, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient was an ardent fighter for civil rights and against poverty. And even though he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, we remember the visionary and his dogged pursuit of justice every year.

“My father’s ultimate dream was to have people from all backgrounds come together and celebrate our differences as well as our commonalities,” said Dr. Bernice A. King, son of the late MLK and the CEO of The King Center.

So, as the big day approaches us, here is how to make its celebrations memorable:

1. A day well-spent with the magnanimous words of Martin Luther King

The man is remembered for his iconic speeches, how about delving deeper into the meaning his powerful words held? In his speeches, he has talked at length about racism, civil rights, and poverty. And sadly, many of these still persist, in some form or other, no matter how scientifically or technologically advanced we become.

2. Take part in a Giving March

Take a page out of MLK’s life and indulge in interacting with people who are relegated to the fringes of society. In the Giving March, you can take it upon yourself to feed the ones who need it, donate clothes, toiletries to those in need, organize a food drive, etc.

3. Introduce your kids to the inspiring life of MLK by joining a local parade

King was always striving to establish a society where someone’s color or ethnicity played no role in deciding what their rights will be. This is a crucial lesson every kid needs to learn as they grow up and the best way to do so is to attend an MLK parade in your town.

4. How about an inspiring day at home, if going out is not an option?

You can pick an MLK documentary or film, portraying the lengths to which MLK went to challenge the narrative about race and diversity. Documentaries like “Eyes on the Prize” are best to know more about MLK's contributions to America.

5. Plant a tree as a symbol of growth

Connecting an important event with a positive memory- this has been one of the proven methods of not only ensuring that one remembers what they are told but also that they learn from it as they associate with it positively. This MLK day, you can plant a tree with your kids, so whenever they see it or tend to it, they will the one thing King stood for and gave his life to- changing partial perceptions.

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