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Where to Go & What to Do on Martin Luther King Day

Deciding what to do #MLKDay and went to the Carnegie Public Library for inspiration. Found the EBONY​ published when it was first observed (1986!), wherein Coretta Scott King wrote, "It is my hope that our newest national holiday will be something more. The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday can provide a unique opportunity for the U.S. if we celebrate it in a way that helps carry on the struggle to make his Dream, which is the American Dream, a reality for all of our people."

In The Real Meaning of the King Holiday, Clarksdale native Lerone Bennett Jr. wrote, "The crucial point here and elsewhere is that this is NOT a holiday for rest and frivolity and play. This is a day for study, struggle and preparation for the victory to come. It is a day set aside for measuring ourselves and America against the terrible yardstick of King's hope. And if we ever loved him, we will use this time to mobilize against the evils he identified in his last article -- the evils of racism, militarism, unemployment and violence.

It is on this deep level, and in the context of personal responsibilities, that the King holiday assumes its true meaning. For it is not enough to celebrate King; it is necessary also to vindicate him by letting his light shine in our own lives...And the only question before us in this holiday is what are WE doing and what are we prepared to do to ensure that King did not dream and die in vain."

So, what to do?

  1. VISIT a local event or museum for inspiration and action. There's free admission at National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis,​ the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson,​ and more.

  2. VOLUNTEER. Search "Days of Service," from census to voter registration...What local organizations do work you're passionate about doing in his honor?

  3. READ: Google MLK's words that challenge you, or current events carrying on both the struggle and the Dream. (We're following the Mississippi prison crisis down the road at Parchman, now The New York Times​ homepage close and yet so far from his Letters from a Birmingham Jail.) Also nearby, Clarksdale's library is awesome: its archives allow you to actually hold historic news in your hands!

  4. SHARE with friends, kids, community. We're in this together.

  5. PLAN: how will YOU put MLK's legacy into action throughout 2020? From the 'prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire' to 'every hill and molehill of Mississippi'...let's carry on the dream together. #WordsIntoAction


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