MLK message still rings true today




“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

For the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month and every black leader, activist and inventor who has had an impact on us.

Martin Luther King, Jr,, one of the most well-known black activists, has made a worldwide impact. However, how relevant is his message today?

Here at University of Detroit Mercy, the Student Life Office and the Martin Luther King/Black History Month Planning Committee organized a commemoration event for Martin Luther King Jr.

The theme of the evening was whether or not, in today’s society, his message is still of importance.

Do our lives matter?

Can we as young people make a difference?

The answer to both of the questions is an astounding “yes.”

Dr. Terri Laws, a UDM professor and speaker for the event, masterfully spoke of how media has an influence on whether or not people speak up on matters of race and equality.

She detailed one recent racially motivated tragedy, in particular.

“If Mike Brown, a young black victim of police-gun violence, was not represented and talked about on social media, then, unfortunately, he would have just been recognized as another unarmed, murdered teen,” Laws said.

As young people, we have a role to play.

“Just one person can make a difference,” freshman Michael Barconi, a speaker at the event, said.

Elegantly, he meshed religion with MLK’s vision of nonviolence, peace and togetherness.

“War and violence beget war and violence,” Barconi said. “MLK’s dream, he added, lives on in young adults, who do decide to stand against injustice peacefully.”

MLK’s dream lives on in all of us, but it’s up to the youth of today to decide whether or not his dream will flourish.

Ashe Lewis, a fellow UDM student, expressed her gratitude for the UDM-sanctioned events geared toward Black History Month.

“Events like these are needed for everyone on campus,” Lewis said. “Educating, informing and exposing people to the truths of today’s society and racism is just the beginning to a solution. The impact we can make in the world could be big if we all just work together and get along.”

In the words of the great Martin Luther King Jr., “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

Hannah is a VN staff writer