Monday, January 16, 2017
Dr. Martin Luther King Day
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968
Today is the observance of the U. S. holiday honoring the birthday of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the slain American civil rights leader and peace advocate. In the style of Gandhi, Dr. King was known for his belief in non-violent protest, even when confronted by physical force. U. S. Federal law mandates the celebration of most public holidays on the Monday closest to the original date.
Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace by King Gustav of Sweden in 1964. In 1977, he was posthumously awarded the U. S. Presidential Medal of Freedom by the (then) U. S. President, Jimmy Carter.
During his lifetime, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was noted for his advancing the cause of equal rights, his commitment to non-violence and pacifism (especially for his opposition to the Vietnam War) and his championing voting rights and civil rights for people everywhere but particularly in the United States of America. He was a vocal critic of the (then) policy in South Africa of complete racial separation.
The Reverend Dr. King was the undisputed leader of the grass-roots movement to secure racial equality for all oppressed peoples within the U. S. A. He was one of the founders and guiding forces of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He served for many years as the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Although Dr. King was assassinated before the modern Gay, Lesbian, BiSexual, Transgender (GLBT) movement began (he was shot in April, 1968; the Stonewall Riots happened in June, 1969), he is recognized as a definitive inspiration by the GLBT community worldwide. After his death, his widow, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, publicly stated many times that she had no doubt in her mind of his support of the GLBT community in their struggle for equality.
In the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Dr. King delivered his infamous "I Have A Dream" speech, he never wavered in his support of Bayard Ruskin, one of the principal organizers of the event. Many of the other civil rights leaders involved and some of the Reverend Dr. King's own advisors urged him to fire Ruskin and denounce him after it was discovered that he (Ruskin) was homosexual. Dr. King refused to do so and even had Ruskin appear publicly onstage with him before the more than 200,000 people congregated on The National Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Bare With Pride