Kent State students remember Martin Luther King Jr.

Jesse Gettemy

Martin Luther King Jr. was an influential social activist who played an important role in the American civil rights movement. He was inspired by advocates of nonviolence, which sparked his desire to achieve equality for African Americans, the poor and victims of injustice through peaceful protest. Today, Americans celebrate the life of King and the positive legacy he left behind.    

Macy Dell, a senior early childhood education major, believes that King was a brave leader that was essential to our country’s progression in human rights and equality. She believes that he is one of the most inspirational leaders in American history.

“It’s important for us to reflect on what he did,” Dell said. “We should reflect on him to remind us of the importance of being passionate and progressive towards change to make our world a better place.”

Dell knows that not everyone will agree with her views, but she believes both a majority of her peers, and Kent State’s student body share similar positive feelings towards the importance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Other students, such as Rachel Gilbride, a senior nutrition major, take a more political stance on King’s legacy considering recent events that have occurred in the presidential debates.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was an intelligent and (kind) person. He understood the importance of peace and understanding,” Gilbride said. “His behavior is something that should be looked at today, as terrible people like Donald Trump continue to spew hatred and as Muslims continue to be scrutinized.”

Gilbride also believes that King’s strongest fight came from trying to establish change during a time when people were afraid to change.

“It was a pivotal step in enhancing civil rights in America and he took the liberty to stand up for those who had no voice,” Gilbride said. “He gave those people something to be proud of for years to come.”

These students not only believe that King’s words and actions should resonate with the university community, they believe that stronger actions need to be taken to help eliminate the amount of people who oppress others for their views on society.

Jesse Gettemy is a pan-african studies reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]