Martin Luther King Jr’s life’s work was the elevation, honoring, and defense of Black Lives. His tools included non-violent civil disobedience and direct action. Dr. King was part of a larger movement of women, and men, queer, and straight, young and old. This movement was built on a bold vision. This vision was radical, principled, and uncompromising. The freedom fighters attached to this vision did not bow to political expediency or the calls for gradualism heard in their day. They were called impractical, rash, not strategic, irrational, and naive. Their tactics were controversial. Some elders distanced themselves from what was then a new movement for change. Some of the older generation joined in.
The present day Movement for Black Lives draws a direct line from the legacy of Dr. King and the current day struggle we face today. Unfortunately, Dr. King‘s legacy has been clouded by efforts to soften, sanitize, and commercialize it. Impulses to remove Dr. King from the movement that elevated him must end. We resist efforts to reduce a long history marred with the blood of countless members of our community into iconic images of men in suits behind pulpits.
From here on, MLK weekend will be known as a time of national resistance to injustice. This MLK weekend we will walk in the legacy of Dr. King and the movement that raised him. This January we will #ReclaimMLK.