MLK Week: Seminoles Honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s Life

We’ve all experienced that glorious moment when you get to turn off your morning alarm because it’s a holiday, and that means no classes. College students across the nation have thanked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for letting them sleep in until noon on his birthday, but have we ever actually taken a moment to consider why we take a day off in his name?

Dr. King's actions have inspired activists from all over America to take charge, and make sure their voices were heard. He carried us through one of the most important times in our country's history and brought about changes that affected the lives of millions of Americans. King is world-renowned for his tireless civil rights efforts in America; along with the many boycotts and marches that he lead in protest of the mistreatment and under-representation of colored people in the country. We’ve been learning about him in school for as long as we can remember but last week, students took the time to listen to and discuss the meaning of this national holiday and the implications of King's work. 

Courtesy: FSU Student Government Association

Monday, January 11, 2016 marked the beginning of the 28th annual MLK Week at FSU. It all kicked off with a showing of Selma at the Student Life Cinema; a film based on the march that MLK and other activists led from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in support of voting rights for people of color. Students filled the theater to see this inspiring representation of the actions and impact of MLK that night.

"Seeing how MLK has inspired others helps me believe that I can do the same in the future," FSU freshman Stacey Pierre tells us.

Students, faculty and members of the Tallahassee community joined together to hear this year's keynote speaker, Jelani Cobb (the director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut). The Seminole attendees learned about the very complex race relations in the United States, and how they still post a problem in the country, even five decades after MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech.

The Noles also took part in the celebration of MLK by joining for a march held by the Florida State University chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to commemorate the life and accomplishments of Dr. King. The March is in memoriam of the March on Washington in 1963.

Although the MLK celebration week is over, you can still take part in the memory of the legacy of Dr. King by visiting the “MLK: Be The Legend” art exhibit at Oglesby Union, which will be hosted until Jan. 31. You will see works by artists that were inspired by the challenges and triumphs of Dr. King and his fellow activists. You can also visit the Center for Leadership and Social Change to learn more about how you can get involved in working to better help race relations in the Tallahassee community and in the nation.

Take a pause from the Netflix binges and college parties to remember this remarkable man and a very trying time in America's history. We would not all be able to share the Seminole experience together if it weren't for MLK and many other civil rights activists.