Editorial: Remembering the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Monday, we'll celebrate the life and legacy of the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King is probably most remembered for his "I Have a Dream" speech delivered at the March On Washington in front of the Lincoln Memorial. A preacher, King's words struck a chord not only for those in attendance but for many others ever since. He pursued nonviolent efforts to advance equality for all Americans, regardless of their skin color.

On Thursday, events began locally to honor King's legacy. The first was a virtual birthday party. Because of the pandemic, most of this year's MLK events will be in virtual format with the following all taking place on Zoom using the number (312) 626-6799.

On Sunday, a virtual community service will be held on Zoom at 6 p.m. The meeting ID is 89835513057. The passcode is 608270.

On Monday, the virtual memorial breakfast will be held at 9 a.m. The meeting ID is 82965318699, and the passcode is 006709.

And at 1 p.m. Monday, the Humanitarian Benefit will be held virtually with meeting ID 88651638753 and passcode 284166.

Organizers have also launched a humanitarian food drive through Monday. Requested items include: canned goods, non-perishable items, toiletries, blankets, scarfs, hats and gloves. Donations can be dropped off at the Osage Centre from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.

For more information about this year's community events honoring Dr. King, contact Debra Mitchell Braxton at (573) 275-6814 or mitchellbraxtond@capetigers.com, or Sean Braxton at (573) 837-8029 or seanwb92988@icloud.com.

Though we will not gather in person this year to remember Dr. King and celebrate his efforts, each of us can honor his legacy in our own ways seeking to build up one another in love and do good in our own circles of influence.

In closing, we reflect on these remarks from Dr. King:

"Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

"And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last."