© 2015 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
On January 21, 2013, U. S. President Barack Obama took the Oath of Office for the second time. He held in his hand the personal Bible of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That’s the Bible the King family normally keeps in a glass case. That’s the one with Dr. King’s handwritten notes in the margins. That second inauguration also fell on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The day was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, to honor the civil rights leader. The date was selected as the third Monday of January each year, to be close to Dr. King’s birthday, January 15th. The holiday was finally adopted by all the States as of 2000.
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King was a pastor known for nonviolent methods of creating social change, especially working against poverty, racism, and violence. He lived in a time difficult for some to imagine, when there was great stress between Blacks and Whites in this country. There were separate hotels, restaurants, and water fountains for Blacks. Blacks had a hard time riding buses, at least in the fronts of the buses. Blacks couldn’t vote. Some Blacks in relationships with Whites suffered violence or death. During these years, an organization called the Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, committed many acts of hatred, cruelty and destruction in the name of White Supremacy. They were famous for wearing white cloaks with pointed hoods and burning crosses on front lawns; also burning homes and churches.
In contrast, Dr. King led peaceful protests and marches to draw attention to the need for equality. Some of the demonstrations were met with hatred, tear gas, and high pressure water hoses. In part due to the work of Dr. King, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted, and the next year, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Now the law said it was illegal to discriminate against anyone, based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. And now the law prohibited racial discrimination in voting. However, not all in the U.S. agreed with equal rights.
Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, April 4, 1968, having traveled there to support striking African-American sanitation workers seeking rights. He is remembered for poetic and strongly inspiring speeches, such as the “I have a dream” speech. In that speech, he said,
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…
In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill that made Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a National Day of Service. Organizations and volunteers now match with each other for needed service, on the federal website, MLKDay.gov. The site can also connect volunteers with opportunities for service throughout the year. As Clinton said at his second inaugural address, “We must be repairers of the breach.”
On President Obama’s second Inauguration weekend, Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Dr. King said, “Everyone is important, no matter how you define yourself. We have to finish the work of Dr. King.”
Each year, the Association for Global New Thought (AGNT) celebrates a Season for Nonviolence (SNV), from the anniversary of Ghandi’s death to the anniversary of Dr. King’s death, January 30th to April 4th. The SNV offers opportunities to explore the qualities and actions of nonviolent solutions, leading to peace prevailing on this Planet. Together, let us celebrate Dr. King and the strides made as a result of his work. Together, let us celebrate the good works of good people around the Globe. Together let us celebrate the question, “What are you doing for others?”
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- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition(http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc ). Her newest book is Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com.
- For an appointment or to ask Kebba Buckley Button to speak for your group: Calendar@kebba.com .