Why We Celebrate the Life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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By Dr. John E. Warren, Publisher

January 15, 2021 marks the 92nd birthday of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. While we celebrate his birthday, we also remember that he was assassinated 53 years ago this April. The further we move from his life, and for those of us who either knew or personally experienced his struggle, the more important it becomes to provide these factual printed excerpts from “trusted messengers” like the Black Press. In reality, we have an entire generation with social media posts of Dr. King, giving abbreviated glimpses of the man and his contributions. We have streets, buildings and monuments named after him, but little knowledge of the man himself. Because there was much more to Dr. King than “I Have a Dream”, we are publishing in their entirety some of his messages here in this special “commemorative” issue providing some insight into the life of Dr King, the man.

Dr. King believed that “the laws of man” never outweighed “the laws of God.” The March on Washington, D.C. on August 28th, 1963 was a march for jobs and freedom. Dr. King and the 250,000 plus who joined him intended to redeem what he called a “check” that America had issued to the poor and jobless. That check had been returned, marked “insufficient funds”. The “Dream” was never a substitute for the bounced check. It was to be the product of the check, had it, in fact, been “redeemed”.

This issue, like those appearing in a number of African American publications this week, is intended to provide more information on Dr. King, particularly for those born 53 years after his death. The pictures, stories, articles and excerpts from some of his speeches are meant to add an understanding of Martin Luther King, Jr. The man, not the myth. In the midst of the pandemic, it is our hope that this issue will be retained as a point of reference for years to come. To that end, it will also be available for viewing online, but not for download. We deeply thank those who have placed ads in this issue, making it possible for us to reach our children, churches, schools and general community as we celebrate and remember the man.

For a compelling view of one of the greatest speeches ever given in receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, we urge you to go to YouTube and view Dr. Martin Luther King’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 1964.

In conclusion, let us remember that Dr. King is the only private citizen in the history of this country to have both a National Holiday in his honor and a monument on the National Mall. It is still up to us to make the dream and the sacrifice of the man a reality.

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