Remembering King’s legacy

Published 8:32 pm Friday, January 12, 2018

On Monday, we will celebrate a man who had the audacity to dream of a world where his children and grandchildren could eat lunch at the same table as white children.

He dreamed of a world where his children and grandchildren would have the same opportunities at education and work as those same white children. He also strived for peace.

That peace will be one of the focuses of the annual Maritin Luther King Jr. parade that will be held in downtown LaGrange on Saturday.

This year’s theme is peace, love and harmony, which is especially poignant in light of LaGrange’s efforts to create an atmosphere of trust between races.

Some efforts like the reconciliation in LaGrang last year, have been big news.

Other efforts to build trust have been a bit less noticeable to your average person on the street.

The Trustbuilding Initiative has hosted several events in the last year to discuss where healing is still needed and how that healing can be brought about.

Many times, the most important part is acknowledging that there is work that needs to be done.

Last year, Rep. John Lewis, who was bloodied and beaten while trying to lead peaceful protesters over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma  during the 1960s, visited LaGrange College to speak.

In that discussion about his experience as part of the Civil Rights movement, it was clear that while incredible leaps have been made to assure equal rights, there’s more work ahead of us.

This year, LaGrange College will host Shirley Franklin, a former Atlanta Mayor who holds the honor of being the first African-American woman to be elected mayor of a major Southern city.

She served two terms between 2002 and 2009, and her speech will provide an interesting perspective into both equal rights and Atlanta politics.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s life was ended a little more than 50 years ago, but his legacy of equal rights for all lives on with us today.

We hope that’s what you’ll remember today.

For some, this holiday is given as a day off work.

For us, the holiday means there won’t be a newspaper Monday, since the U.S. Postal Service won’t be delivering mail. However, we’ll still be out at the parade and the event in Hogansville honoring King, and we hope to see you there.

And although it’s important to spend the time off with family if you’ve got the day off, it’s also important to remember who and why we’re celebrating.

There has been significant progress in the world since the Voting Rights March of the 1960s.

However, there’s so much more to be made.

When it comes to race relations and understanding what it’s like in another’s shoes, we still have a long way to go in this country and in this world.

Of course, equality isn’t all about race.  Gender equality and the fight for equal pay for men and women continues on.

On Monday, we should reflect on how far this country has come, while we also remember a man who dreamed of a world of equal opportunity for all.