Do We Know Martin Luther King’s Life Accomplishments?


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Martin Luther King Jr. prepares for his infamous “I Have A Dream” speech

Kody Moore, Staff writer

Americans recognize Martin Luther King Jr.’s life every third Monday of January. Although all schools in the United States are off for the day, the younger generations may not know all of the accomplishments of Dr. King. 

Martin Luther King Day should be observed for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, King’s contributions and message helped advance American African Americans’ struggle for civil rights. 

But most history classes in high schools only go over the most infamous events in his life. The two main topics we reviewed in history class are the “I Have A Dream” speech and his role in the Birmingham Bus Boycott. 

Although these are significant events in American history, Dr. King is known for much more than just that. But every third Monday in January, my peers and  I ask what else Dr. King do in his life to deserve a federal holiday for him. There are many things that are hidden from the public eye. 

Firstly, In 1946, Dr. King enrolled at Morehouse College in Atlanta starting his adult life. According to Stanford University, Dr. King joined the NAACP while a student at Morehouse College.

Dr. King also earned his doctorate from Boston University in the next ten years and was ordained as a pastor in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. King also found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which is commemorating its 65th anniversary this year.

His peaceful campaign to eradicate racial discrimination and segregation was spearheaded by him, and the changes in legislation and social morals that resulted were great. King supported the passage of two important pieces of legislation—the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965—that helped put an end to legal discrimination against African Americans and safeguard their right to vote.

Dr. King has made numerous exceptional contributions to the battle for minority communities’ equal rights. But without extensive investigation, many high school students would not be aware of all the powerful achievements that Dr. King made throughout his lifetime.