The True Significance of Martin Luther King Day

Photo by Chris Young
Photo by Chris Young

Today is Martin Luther King’s Day.  It is a celebration of a man’s life that was dedicated to change and equality.

But I wonder how many people who are not of African American descent ‘know’ what that really means?

I noticed in the past when there’s a holiday, there are all kinds of posts on blogs about that holiday or some famous person’s birthday and what they did for the world.

I thought the same would happen today, but I was sadly mistaken.  I don’t see any posts or blogs on the true importance of this day and that it represents a man’s fight for quality and freedom.

Martin Luther King did not just fight for equality for just African American’s.  His famous speech, ‘I Have a Dream’ talks about equality for all people.   How many people really know what that means?

I Have A Dream By Martin Luther King


As an African American woman I was raised down south.  I’m also old enough to have attended, at that time, an all African American Elementary School.

I remember (and I’m not really all that old) when we were not allowed to attend the ‘White schools’, but I was way too young to understand what was going on.

Brown vs. Board: Timeline of School Integration in the U.S. talks about when ‘The Civil Rights Act of 1964′ is adopted.  Title IV of the Act authorizes the federal government to file school desegregation cases.  Title VI of the Act prohibits discrimination in programs and activities, including schools and receiving federal financial assistance.’

In 1968 was the first time I attended school with children of other races!  I was 8 years old and I attended a summer program in North Carolina where I was born.  For me, it was no biggie, but in the outside world there was much unrest that as a child I was unaware of.

So What Is The True Important of Martin Luther King Day

That day I attended that summer program was a new beginning for me and our country.  Right now our country is completely diversified.  No matter where you go, there are all races working together, going to school together, involved in relationships, etc.   We have an African American President and despite the politics of those who don’t like that, the significance of it is what is important.

Martin Luther King’s dream did come true and the celebration of this day is truly warranted that our lives, all lives have changed so much because of this man’s dream.

Is there still racial unrest? Yes, believe it or not, but the significance and importance of Martin Luther King’s Day still is a truly important historical moment for all of us.

Even young African Americans don’t really understand the significance.  They don’t understand that they should appreciate the significance of Martin Luther King Day and the battle this man fought.

They don’t understand the ability to be able to go to school, go to the mall, go buy a car, congregate in one place to socialize, eat in a restaurant and drink from the same water fountain (all the things we couldn’t do before Martin Luther King’s fight.)

Without Martin Luther King’s contributions and battles against segregation we would not be allowed to stand together and live together as one nation now.   It may not be perfect, but we have come a long, long, long way.

Martin Luther King Day is significant in the life of ALL of us and we should take a moment to celebrate that. All of the nationalities that live in the U.S. today should be celebrating.

All I ‘m saying is that we should honor the man in our own way.  The government has given this day as a holiday, but how do you celebrate it?

Maybe we should all just send up a simple, silent prayer of thank you for a job well done.  Thank you Martin Luther King for your sacrifice.  He sacrificed the greatest thing he could for equality – this Life.



  1. says

    Hey Barbara,

    I seldom write about a holiday unless it’s like the past holiday season where everyone seems to vanish for a couple of weeks and our hard work goes unnoticed. Of course my post today was my guest post so at times these holidays do fall on the wrong posting days for me.

    Since we’re both the same age, I of course grew up wondering what all the fuss was about. We’re all just people and the only difference is the color of our skin. So what!

    Over the years of course I learned about Martin Luther King and I have to tell you I can’t even imagine what the African American’s had to endure during their lives. So many people take so much for granted and I really do wish that they would take the time to understand things and make their own decisions instead of perhaps just going by what their parents thought. We have evolved as people and come a long way although we still have a long way to go yet.

    Thank you for sharing this with us and he was a great man who changed the world and I’m sure he would love how his life is being celebrated now.

    Adrienne recently posted…The Courage to Be YouMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Adrienne,
      Of course, our generation coming up was more tolerant and more accepting of the things we had. I just remember the ‘beginnings’ slightly as I was still a child, but I do remember not being allowed to go to the other school. That much I was aware of and ‘everyone’ knew their place ‘at that time.’ When I moved North to Massachusetts, there was such a case of culture shock for me that for a long time I felt like I was out in left field. It was weird, wonderful and amazing for the 10 year old I was at the time. At 7 I went to live with my mom in Massachusetts for 2nd grade (school was integrated), then returned to the South for 3rd grade (back to an all Black school), then back to Massachusetts in 5th grade. I could have been very confused, but maybe the back and forth between these two very different, distinct cultures gave me a better handle on things than I thought then.

      I too wondered what all the fuss was about but in a child’s mind… the world is a different place. I still have the brains enough at suck a young age to make up my own mind (even if I kept these thoughts to myself) and that helped me to adjust better. Don’t know if that makes sense but it worked for me.

      Anyway, I got a look from both sides and that definitely helped growing up in those times.

      Martin Luther King, I think walked this earth as an angel. He knew he didn’t have long to be here and he had a job to do and he did, and did it well. Thank God for the man.

      Thanks for stopping by,

  2. says

    Hi Barbara,

    How great that you wrote about this very important day. While I’m not even from here, originally, I’m fully aware of the importance of this man for all our rights. That’s why those who do the devil’s work assassinated him. I truly believe that too.

    I have two very close black male friends here in NC and 4 very close black female friends in NY, so I’m all well aware of the sad racist story of this country and of the fact that the country is is STILL somewhat racist no matter what some people want to believe.

    Today I asked one of my friends why the heck did he work today, and he said he shouldn’t have 🙂

    Happy Martin Luther King’s day!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…How To Blog In The Midst Of Havoc?My Profile

    • says

      Hi Sylviane,

      Well all I can tell you is that it is much better than it was and times are a changing. I just wanted people to remember where it all started and who is responsible for our progress. We have made great strides but still have a long way to go. We have all become so intermingled and that is a good thing, but much more work is needed before we can truly say we have reached over that pinnacle.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate you and for sharing your feelings.
      Take care,

  3. says

    Hello Ms. Barbara
    All I can say is that Dr. Martin Luther gave his life so that others may learn to live among all people.
    You are right… We have come a long way, but still there’s more to accomplish. God will raise another to continue the work.

    Thank you for this lovely post.
    Oh I miss you as well.

    Gladys posted Personal Development-The Journey That Counts
    Gladys recently posted…Personal Development-The Journey That CountsMy Profile

    • says

      Hey Gladys – Thanks so much and you’re welcome.

      No greater deed can be done except for a man that lays down his life in the service of others! Most of us are just not that brave!

      Hope you’re doing well my friend.

  4. says

    Hi Barbara,

    It IS an important day. Last year I wrote a post about it and found that many people in other countries didn’t know the turmoil that was going on in America before the civil rights act. Heck, some younger people didn’t realize how it was just a few short decades ago.

    I can say this is one man that had a great impression on me as a kid. I remember watching him speak on my black and white T.V. He has always been my hero. A true spiritual man that lead the march. His famous speech is deep in my soul.

    I can remember being in a restaurant with my mom and her friend who was African American. It was around 1960 or so. The people weren’t serving us and I can remember my mom giving them a piece of her mind and then crying when I didn’t know what was going on. Yes, racism was alive and well in New York too.

    Martin Luther King changed our world. You know Barbara, I often pray for his guidance because I think of him as an angel still watching over us. If he was a Catholic, he would have been a Saint!

    Be Blessed,

    Donna Merrill recently posted…The Shocking Truth About FacebookMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Donna,

      It’s a pleasure to know that there were so many people fighting for our rights back then. Martin Luther King changed the world. What a legacy he has left for all of us. I think he is a Saint! Although not Catholic, he has schools, highways, streets and a holiday named after him. His family and children have to be proud. Hell, I’m proud! 🙂

      More people should listen to his speeches. They are truly about all rights for all of the people.
      What better legacy to have left.

      Barbara Charles recently posted…The True Significance of Martin Luther King DayMy Profile

  5. says

    Hey Barbara,

    It’s great that you wrote about this day. I didn’t see anything about him yesterday either, and I do have to admit, I didn’t put anything up.I was so busy watching the MLK programs on TV. I saw something on Jackie Robinson, Medgar Evers, and Thurgood Marshall on the plessy vs. furgeson case.

    Although I wasn’t born in my time, my mother, father and grandmothers use to talk about those times growing up in Mississippi and Louisiana. I have to say that I really appreciate what all they went through just for my generation and future generations to have the rights that we do now. I can’t imagine a world where I’m restricted to do certain things based on the color of my skin.

    But most of all I thank Martin Luther King and other leaders like him during that time for taking the courage to stand up for what was right. It was time over due! Thanks for sharing Barbara!
    sherman smith recently posted…The Art Of Persuasion: Using Tact And Empathy To Be More AttractiveMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Sherman,

      Wow. So hard to believe that others ‘did’ not grow up in that time. Guess that shows my age uh? 🙂

      I was still a young girl and didn’t know much of what was doing on. When you’re a child, it’s just ‘going on’ and we have no idea the significance of the events or the man at that time.

      Thank God he was a strong man able to stand up. One of his speeches, it seems he even knew that his time was short-lived on this earth. I think it was the I Have A Dream speech where it seems he knew it was going to come to an end soon and THAT he was still brave enough and strong enough to stand there and fight for us, verbally. Even under penalty of death.

      We can never thank him enough for his bravery and his courage for changing the world.
      If we could all only be so brave.
      Barbara Charles recently posted…The True Significance of Martin Luther King DayMy Profile

  6. says

    Hi Barbara,

    MLK is one of those guys who is among the people I admire the most and I thank you for sharing this great reminder about that great man!

    Last year, I had written about his “I Have A Dream” speech on my blog on the 50th anniversary of that event and I had received a lot of great feedback. That was the time I had watched this talk many times and showed to many younger people who wanted to learn how to speak and what power his speech had that made it one of the most famous speeches on this planet.

    Have a great day!

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…Guest Blogging – Before You Nail The Coffin Shut, Read This!My Profile

  7. says

    Hi Barbara

    Early in your post you said you wonder if those who are not of African American descent really know of the importance of the day. I can tell you that even here in Australia his significance is honored. I think he and also Nelson Mandala had an impact around the globe as well as in their own countries.

    I have a special connection to Martin Luther King from a very different source. As you know I know and worked with Robert Kiyosaki. Robert often used I have a dream in his original courses. I even got to meet one of Martin Luther King’s daughters once. I cannot remember her name.

    Later one of Robert’s friends and fellow teachers taught a course on giving presentations on stage. It was a weekend course. Part of it was all participants were given a famous speech they had to deliver and become that person. Martin Luther King was one these. Now I have seen many white people deliver it and almost sound like him. On one occasion though the guy delivering it was a white guy who had grown up in the south of the USA and is a tad older than you. He delivered it with so much force and at the end he passed out on the floor. It was amazing.

    No I cannot imagine what it was like for you growing up then and for all the BS and racism there was as clearly I am white and live in Australia, Oh and I should say now that we have had our own racist BS. Our natives here are black and the white came in and treated them so badly. We even had a “white Austalian Policy” in my life time where we only took immigrants that were white (even Asians were excluded). Thank God that is way behind us.

    I was in a Network Marketing company with a friend who is African American and lives here. She was so excited when Obama was first elected for what it signified.

    Thanks for a great post Barbara.

    Sue Price recently posted…Is Mindset or Skillset More Important?My Profile

  8. says

    Hi Sue,

    It’s good to know that he had an impact on the world! And you’re right, Nelson Mandela had the same significant impact on people. Racism and prejudice is definitely a part of our world culture and knows no bounds, even now.

    All we can do is thank God for men like them. Prejudice may never go away, but as long as there are men like him and even us to keep it at bay, we’ll always stay one step ahead of the game.

    Thanks for your input.
    Barbara Charles recently posted…The True Significance of Martin Luther King DayMy Profile

  9. says

    Hi Barbara,
    I initially commented when you had an issue. It showed posted, but somehow disappeared.
    I was stating that Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my heroes as a great humanitarian and social crusader.
    I enjoin my prayers to yours in gratitude for his service to the world. It behoves all of us to BE LOVE TO OTHERS.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    William Butler recently posted…The Hidden Power Of Hindsight & What It Can Teach YouMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Bill,

      Not sure what was going on with my blog that day, but thank you for coming back. 🙂 There area few heroes in the world. Thank God for Martin Luther King and others who have fought the battles for freedom for all of us.


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