The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Monday, January 21, we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would have turned 90 years old this month. More than just a symbol of the ongoing struggle for civil rights, MLK was a visionary, a Nobel Peace Prize winner (for his policy of nonviolent resistance), and an activist who consistently stood up for the victims of oppression wherever he found them.
We remember MLK primarily today for memorable events like the Selma march to enforce voting rights and his famous “I have a dream” speech during the civil rights march on Washington. However, in his day, Dr. King also got involved in grassroots issues like the Chicago Open Housing Movement, which sought an end to Chicago slums and corrupt criminal justice practices, and the Poor People’s Campaign to shine a spotlight on economic injustice. He was also an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War because he saw it as an unnecessary use of violence and a colonization attempt.
A Call to Action
Perhaps Dr. King’s most notable legacy is that nearly everything he said and did publicly contained a call to action—a reminder that society does not change on its own. Consider some of his most memorable words during his time in the public eye:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“The time is always right to do what is right.”
A Call to Justice
This principle of “doing what is right” is one of the most important aspects of Dr. King’s legacy, and in many ways it serves as a key motivation in our practice of personal injury law. To protect people who don’t get a fair shake in this world, we must commit to take decisive, fair, consistent, ethical action. To that end, we strive to infuse our work with the same spirit of brotherhood and community that Dr. King exemplified with his life.
We recently held a book drive in honor of Dr. King’s legacy to serve as a reminder of his example and to continue the work of passing on the principles he stood for. His legacy matters today more than ever.