The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired us to rise up against injustice 60 years ago and he's still inspiring hope for generations born decades later that racial equality is possible.
It's a goal that transcends generations and that's the message of this year's Martin Luther King Day Google Doodle honoring the civil rights pioneer. Monday's Doodle depicts parallel scenes from the 1960s and today, showing not only scenes of marches and protests for equality but also efforts to improve communities for everyone.
Born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, King began preaching as a Baptist minister in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1954. His message of nonviolent civil disobedience and love, delivered through powerful speeches and writings, shaped the character of the movement.
He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott against the policy of racial segregation in the Alabama city's public transit system. In 1963, he delivered his iconic I Have a Dream speech, calling for an end to racism, during the March on Washington.
Perhaps the side-by-side scenes of Monday's invite reflection of how much progress we've made toward achieving King's dreams in the five decades since his assassination in 1968. Thankfully, we have time on Monday to invest serious effort into educating ourselves on understanding systemic racism and how to fight it.
The real anniversary of King's birthday was Friday, but a federal holiday signed into law in 1983 sets aside the third Monday of each January to observe his birthday. The holiday is typically marked each year in communities across the US by marches, speeches, lectures and musical programs highlighting King's brave leadership.
While this year's observance is expected to be dampened a bit due to COVID-19 restrictions against large gatherings, his message isn't muted. It's as loud and clear and as important as ever.