Inspired by Dr. King

Reflections on the lessons of a remarkable leader

American background

Adoring crowds. Pristine pedestals. Widely supported activism. According to much of the history fed to us by the educational system, these accolades were a part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy. But as we take today to honor the life of such a remarkable civil rights leader, we must reflect on the extent of his sacrifices and the authorities he challenged to ensure an equitable, diverse, and inclusive future for communities across the nation.

One of my favorite quotes is “well-behaved women seldom make history”. From an early age, many of us are taught that submission equals success. Standing up or speaking is often met with harsh retribution, ensuring any thoughts of resistance are erased from our young minds. At the same time, we are told to be relentless in standing up for what’s right. But what do we stand for when doing the right thing is deemed wrong by authority? Submission requires us to deny our heart of the justice it seeks and will forever protest the injustice we force ourselves to be okay with.

When we look at Dr. King’s life and what he endured— the harrowing FBI threats, numerous arrests, assassination attempts, and even low public approval from his own community—he taught us that doing the right thing isn’t always the easier option. It may be met with ruthless opposition and even rejection from the very people you want to help. Nevertheless, Dr. King fought because he knew that justice being served, and civil rights being reclaimed was worth the tremendous struggle.

As Moody students, we are encouraged to converge worlds and create futures. As we continue to use communication to improve the lives of others, we should look at Dr. King’s life and be inspired to bring justice to our communities, even in the face of hardship and opposing authorities.

Simi Sodipe
First-Year Public Relations Student