Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Gator file photo.
The night before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his final address in Memphis, Tennessee.
“I just want to do God’s will,” he said. “And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”
To honor Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision for a brighter future, The Gator asked four thoughts about the national holiday in honor of the civil rights icon.
“MLK Day is a day not only for celebrating racial justice, but human equality as well, because when it comes down to it, they are one and the same.” — Dean of Students Paul Murray
“MLK Day is a day of remembering a very important person who made America a more inclusive country. MLK paved a better path for people of all races.” Neel Kumar ’22
“Professionally, I think that it’s important for students to continue to learn about the major role MLK played in advancing equality for all. I feel that it’s important to cover not only his most famous speech, but all of the Civil Rights movement and the ugly history leading up to it. Personally, I am actively and consciously grateful every single day for the people in my parent’s generation, as well as previous ones, for the sacrifices they made in the name of equality. I am married to a white, Jewish man and we have two biracial kids. This was nearly unheard of in my parents generation. Interracial marriage wasn’t legal until 1967, when my parents were 20. I am deeply grateful for the hard work of pioneers like MLK.” — Director of Equity and Inclusion Jessica Christian
“Despite how far we’ve come, MLK day to me means that we as the human race can strive for more justice, both in terms of race as well as areas like gender and sexual preference.” — Grace Kandiah ’23
“MLK Day is very impactful and meaningful to me. It helps remind people about the dark past of America. In addition, it serves as a way to educate people about this deep and impactful topic.” — Ugo Adiele ’23