Dear SAU Community,

Monday, January 21 is an official holiday honoring the life work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King may best be known as a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent efforts to end segregation, but he also worked to raise  public consciousness by starting dialogues on other salient issues of the time. For your viewing pleasure and personal edification, we’ve embedded video clips (scroll down) of Dr. King‘s famous I Have a Dream speech and a compilation of his comments relating to the role of the United States in Vietnam. We encourage you to consider these video clips of Dr. King and to take a few moments to think about the principles celebrated by this holiday and the enduring relevance of Dr. King’s message.

We want to hear from you!

  • How has Dr. King’s legacy impacted your life and/or education?

We hope that you will share your thoughts with us and with the SAU community by adding a comment to this post.

About libstaff

Bryan Hinds Evening Circulation Supervisor St. Ambrose University 518 W. Locust St. Davenport IA 52803
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  1. Catherine says:

    I’m very glad we observe Martin Luther King day, he was a pioneer for the people. I believe he was annointed to do what he did for the Afro American’s in the world as Moses did for the Jews. As all great leaders in our world, he is definitely without a doubt a hero.

  2. Paul Baresel says:

    The Dream Continues
    By Paul Baresel

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, is worshipped today students, social activists and civil rights leaders. Everyone, from Al Sharpton to Ron Paul, wants to be associated with the work of the good Dr. King. His legacy lives on in the minds of children and in the words of the Constitution. Time and time again we honor him with statues, streets and storefronts. However, do we really look back and see what Dr. King truly brought to the world? The effects of his teaching on modern day social work can not be understated.

    Reverend King was so much more than a civil rights leader for the African-American community. He was a peace demonstrator and an advocate for the downtrodden, black, white or Latino, nationwide. His dream was not just for an end of segregation, but for a victory over poverty. The reason he was in Memphis, Tennessee, in April 1968 was because he was marching for a living wage for the trash collectors in that city. He gave his life defending the rights of the laborer. All in all, Dr. King’s dream was not just so that his little children would be seen for the content of character and not their race. It also expanded to the size of one’s wallet over their character. Dr. King was not a communist who hated money, but he felt that one’s character meant so much more than one’s back account. “I know many good rich men,” he would say, “But I don’t know many good rich men who keep all their money.”

    Cesar Chavez was a close ally of Dr. King’s in the west. Battling for the human dignity for migrant Latino vineyard workers, Chaves and King shared a bond in defending human dignity. Dr. King saw the Latino vineyard workers in the same light in which he saw African-Americans in Selma battling for the right to vote. To limit Dr. King to only an African-American civil rights leader would do an injustice to his fight for the rights of other minority groups. In this way, he is inspiring social movements to this day.

    Dr. King’s opposition to the Vietnam War was also a major cornerstone to what he brings to the table today. He opposed the war because he felt it was robbing from the poor and President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. More present in Dr. King’s mind, even more than his fear of robbing the War on Poverty, was the great fear that the USA would establish itself as the “world police.” This fear has been realized over the years. Vietnam, Panama, Kosovo and Iraq, all wars fought because the USA views itself as a world police force. Dr. King would be sickened by the Neo-Conservative agenda to bring about a “New World Order” where the United States sends troops across the world to give them a government they may or may not want. Dr. King would agree that we have the right to defend ourselves if we are attacked (ala Pearl Harbor and 9/11), but not to send our boys marching to far off capitols enforcing our ideals on other nations. “We can not believe that God set aside America to be a sort of messianic police of the whole world,” Dr. King wisely said. America is the greatest country that has ever existed or ever will, but that does not mean that we are to be a world police.

    The legacy of Dr. King is generally a positive one. He established the groundwork of American social justice and told the world that we could oppose war, and still love America and still support the troops. Dr. King should serve as a guiding light in the current era of civil rights. Children (especially those in underprivileged neighborhoods) should have two parents to care for them, read extensively and become educated as so to escape “the ghetto”. Dr. King himself preached that education is the best way out of poverty. The dream of Dr. King will continue if we continue the fight for justice, peace and a capitalist end to all poverty.

  3. Erica Lee says:

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made huge strides for minorities in the United States. Without him and his powerful leadership, I do not know how far along America would be in their civil rights movement. Although there were many many others pushing for social justice, Dr. King Jr. had the heart and the following of whites and minorities during his life time. I am glad we commemorate his legacy and allow him to live on into the future. Although here at Ambrose, we have the day off for commemoration, I believe his day should be a day of work for African Americans, to continue to work toward his dream of equality of all persons.

    Thanks Beebrary Blog for your commemoration of MLK jr. It was well deserved! I wish more people would comment on his legacy, for without him, I do not know what kind of education I would have. I am an african american female who has been privileged to be apart of the St. Ambrose Graduate Program, and I can’t help but wonder where my life and my ancestors lives would be right now if King were not a prevelant leader of his time.

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