Friday, April 4, 2008

Dr. King's legacy lives on

Today marks four decades since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Arizona Sen. John McCain are among the thousands of people expected to take part in a variety of commemorations across the city that will mark the grim anniversary. Pundits, commentators and other observers will certainly continue to analyze Dr. King's legacy today -- as they have done since his untimely death on April 4, 1968.

My home state of New Hampshire did not officially recognize Martin Luther King, Jr., Day until the late 1990s, and some may question how a 26-year-old gay white man from the Granite State could possibly find this figure inspirational. Dr. King was certainly controversial during his all too brief life, but the movement he spearheaded (and arguably continues to lead in memorium), arguably laid the foundation upon which the modern movement for LGBT rights is built.

Racial prejudice and intolerance remains alive and well in the United States. My grandmother's initial rejection of her multiracial great-grandchild is one of a myriad of examples of this reality. This country must continue to confront this legacy. Dr. King inspired millions of people to stand up and demand their rights in a country whose founding document proclaims all men are created equal. This legacy lives on four decades after his death.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lets's not forget that one of our greatest activist alliances in the glbt movement is Soulforce-- spearheaded by Rev. Mel White and based absolutely on the Gandhi-King model of social transformation. I find it amazing that Gandhi's ideas are still so relevant today, though they are not without their critics in both activist and academic circles. --- Nick