Martin Luther King JR. Day celebration

Bernadotte SufkaFeatures Editor

As Martin Luther King’s birthday passed last month, a virtual event honoring him was held on the zoom platform. It featured a live session held by the Greater New Haven communities and was open to all. 

The main guest speakers were co-founder of Black Lives Matter and author of When They Call You a Terrorist, Cullors and White House Correspondent for PBS NewsHour and NBC and MSNBC Political Contributor, Yamiche Alcindor.  

“We’re so used to the King on a podium sort of dictating to the world and to black people. There was something that made me reflect as a civil rights leader and human rights leader about the necessity of reflection and time to reflect. I feel like, especially in the writings of King, he was an incredibly reflected human being, he was constantly trying to assess what he was trying to ask black people what to do; was this the correct way forward,” said Cullors.  

The event focused on King’s influence, achievements, and legacy. This went great as Southern’s community had access to this event, the social justice it holds goes along perfectly.  

Even amid the ongoing BLM Movement, the speakers each spoke about many topics from today’s government to their views of the new presidency.  

It more so looked like a waiting game. The newly elected president and vice president were seen as figures to mainly wait upon and see what they would do for this nation.  

“I remember in my journey as an activist, one of my first actions here in Los Angeles where a progressive and our liberal haven is, I was challenging the Santa Monica City Council around something. It was an all-white Democratic board. I remember being yelled at and being told I was too aggressive for asking for too much, too soon. We were told to wait, and waiting doesn’t actually get us anywhere,” said Cullors.  

Many past and current events were reflected upon and many great conversations were talked about. To progress and follow King’s speeches and teachings, many civil rights activists are continuing to this day.  

It is a very heavy and ongoing topic in our country and the world today. The countless efforts did not cease but only kept progressing on strongly. 

“This system does not center around care and dignity, respect, or peace. I remember we were able to finally get to honor grocery workers, the workers who were often so unseen,” said Cullors. 

“Worker who are on our frontlines, bus drivers. Workers have just disappeared often. We are going to be exposed to just our vulnerable this system actually is.” 

The conversation brought up the many people who died of COVID-19 in America, due to a negligent, corrupt government and plan. The consequence of this was that there were many people who did not have to die.  

This event carried on to the many past and current scenes happening in America. It voiced the concerns of the many within these circumstances and who needed a reminder of who they were and why we should care. Even as it was focused on King’s legacy, it all connects to his successes and failures, which remain present.  

America, we know, today is still going through multiple changes in many fields. It holds lots of opportunities for civilians, and the people are still building upon after it, despite what may happen next. Most people choose to rise for a better tomorrow they all hope for. It is for a worthy cause and reminder to not stop or give up. Progressing towards that day may take many tries but waiting for it is not an option.  

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