18 January 2021 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
'It isn't the same': Cities host muted MLK Day celebrations after year of loss for many Black Americans
Mark Ramirez (USA Today, 17/01/2021)
This year, the campus of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, will be eerily empty on Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Gone will be the children and families enjoying the day’s activities – as many as 12,000 visitors on a good-weather day – and the crowds donating food or giving blood.
“With the pandemic, it’s hard to do that,” said Faith Morris, chief marketing and external affairs officer for the museum, which is marking the holiday online. “We will try to give those feelings virtually, but it’s not lost on us that it does in some form take away from the sentiment of the movement.”
Across the nation, scores of marches, parades and other events to mark the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has especially devastated Black Americans. Many events have moved online, offered virtually through Zoom or other apps, but organizers hope public enthusiasm will remain high given the extra resonance that the holiday carries in a time of social unrest.
How to serve on MLK Day while isolating at home
Ashley Vaughan (CNN, 17/01/2021)
Caught between colliding pressures of a pandemic, political unrest and outcries for social justice, this Martin Luther King Day of Service is unlike any other. But despite the limitations of the season, this federal holiday doesn't have to be any less impactful. Now more than ever, MLK Day of Service is enabling everyday people to roll up their sleeves and help their communities -- even while stuck at home. Here's how.
Has America finally heard Martin Luther King Jr.?
Editorial Board (The Washington Post, 17/01/2021)
When President Ronald Reagan signed the bill creating a federal holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he warned that “traces of bigotry still mar” the country. This may seem the understatement of the 20th century; it would be an understatement today.
King spoke in his “I Have a Dream” speech of the “sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent.” This would not pass, he explained, “until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.” He said this on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial — not far from where armed insurrectionists this month tried to overturn an election decided, in part, by Black voters in Southern states who surmounted all manner of racist restrictions. He said it not far from the White House, where on the first day of June the president of the United States ordered the tear-gassing of peaceful protesters to clear his way for a photo op.
Neighborhoods with MLK streets are poorer than national average and highly segregated, study reveals
Sweta Tiwari and Shrinidhi Ambinakudige (The Conversation, 15/01/2021)
Poverty rates are almost double the national average in areas surrounding streets named after Martin Luther King Jr., according to our recent study, and educational attainment is much lower.
Our geography research, published in the GeoJournal in September 2020, analyzed the racial makeup and economic well-being of 22,286 census blocks in the U.S. with roadways bearing the slain civil rights leader’s name. Streets named after Martin Luther King typically run through multiple census blocks; we identified a total of 955 such streets in the United States.
The areas surrounding MLK streets are predominantly African American, with very few white residents, we found. This is particularly true in the South and Midwest. A notable exception includes California, where MLK neighborhoods have seen a recent increase in their Latino population.