With the first week of classes over, I hope Ferris State University students are getting settled in the routine of class work and quizzes. In addition to a new semester of classes, the university has begun working to create a series of new campus events.
Throughout campus a number of students and staff are working together to put on Ferris’ annual “Carrying on the Dream” MLK celebration. No matter how we choose to get involved in the celebration, the most important idea is acknowledging the influence Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has made in our personal lives.
Though many people view Dr. King’s movement in the scope of race, the legacy of his activism was a color-blind attempt to advance social morality. Movements such as the Poor People’s Campaign during 1968 and his opposing view of the Vietnam War possessed greater influence than to be characterized as only an African-American agenda. They were an opportunity to both critique and correct societal moral issues among everyday Americans and politicians. More important than any one accomplishment Dr. King brought to fruition within his lifetime was his ability to cause society to face its own imperfections.
Dr. King was a man who withstood the oppression of high-pressured fire hoses and Birmingham Jail time in order to influence the opportunities of future generations.
With a number of statewide and national holidays commercialized or devoid of meaning, it’s easy to lose focus of the representation a day can have. For many of us, holidays are only appreciated because it is a break from our daily responsibilities and routines. FSU’s MLK events are a campus-supported celebration that is defined by the FSU community.
As we sit in our classrooms or residence halls, let us never forget to appreciate what those who came before us have sacrificed in their individual lives to achieve in the lives of many.