“A multiracial nation united in justice”

Dan Weiner, [Martin Luther King, Jr., Montgomery, Alabama], 1956 (1984.2)

Marvin Koner, Martin Luther King and Family, 1961 (3584.1992)

Paul Schutzer, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with Freedom Riders at bus terminal, probably in Jackson, MS, May 1961 (1855.2005)

Days after the offensive and derogatory comments expressed by the President of the United States about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, Coretta Scott King’s powerful words in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day resonate even more strongly:

On this day we commemorate Dr. King’s great dream of a vibrant, multiracial nation united in justice, peace and reconciliation; a nation that has a place at the table for children of every race and room at the inn for every needy child. We are called on this holiday, not merely to honor, but to celebrate the values of equality, tolerance and interracial sister and brotherhood he so compellingly expressed in his great dream for America.

It is a day of interracial and intercultural cooperation and sharing. No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples’ holiday. And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream.

Dr. King would have turned 89 years today.

About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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