MLK Day 

A day to celebrate the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 


Photo courtesy

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., legendary leader and activist for African Americans and all minorities during the Civil Rights movement, deep in thought.

Ford Daniels

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is widely regarded as one of the most, if not the most, influential civil rights activists to ever live. He paved the way for all civil rights activists of today, preaching non-violent civil protest.

Here in Spartanburg, the community gathered in what is known as the “Walk as One” hosted by the city on January 15, 2022, which marks what would have been King’s 93rd birthday. Held at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, the walk symbolizes a union of the many diverse facets of our community.

Mayor Jerome Rice giving a speech during the 35th MLK Day Unity Week Celebration in Spartanburg (Photo courtesy

Mayor Jerome Rice, who spoke at the 35th MLK Day Unity Week Celebration in Spartanburg was greatly impacted by the mission and success of the event.

“Being the 35th anniversary, it goes to show Spartanburg makes MLK Day an important week long celebration. The “Walk as One” is commemorative of Dr. King’s marches. We in Spartanburg walk to continue equity, racial harmony and the greater good of our community. The underline is civil rights for all people in the United States of America,” Rice said. 

As a champion of the Civil Rights Movement, King pushed for equality for not only African Americans but all minorities in America. King surmised his vision for equality amongst all Americans in his now legendary “I Have a Dream” speech that he orated during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

SHS Student Council adviser and English teacher Chris White describes the impact of King’s speech on Black America. 

“Dr. King’s speech let Black Americans know that he wasn’t the only one with a dream. We all had to realize our dreams and make them into reality,” White said. 

However, there were a multitude of powerful and dangerous opponents to his revolutionary dream, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was tragically assassinated by a gunman in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. Today, King’s legacy is celebrated annually on the third Monday of January; this year on January 17. During the holiday, a multitude of offices, schools and other organizations closed in observance of King’s heroic impact on the fight for civil rights. However, MLK Day was not always so well received. It took a record 15 years for the holiday to be approved by Congress, as it received pushback from other Confederate holidays. That being said, MLK Day is now widely regarded as one of the most important holidays of the year. 

Student Council member Erica Woods (12) has a solid understanding of what the day means. 

“MLK Day is a reminder of the struggle and fight for equality not only for African Americans but also for other minorities that has not completely been won still to this day. His message always remained the same and to be able to reach that goal, we have to put our differences aside and truly love one another,” Woods said. 

Today, despite the civil rights issues that remain, Americans have become more accommodating of one another as a people. Racial discrimination in the workforce and in society in general, has receded greatly since the early days of the Civil Rights Movement.  King is known for his revolutionary line, “I Have a Dream,” and today, what was once an unlikely dream, has become a beautiful reality.