This month, as we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., we are quick to recall the highlights of his activist actions that are so revered today and that happened in what MLK’s biographer, Jonathon Eig calls “a career that spanned a mere 13 years”. The Montgomery bus boycott, the letters from Birmingham Jail, his communications with the Kennedy Brothers that helped move them toward federal civil rights laws, his “I Have a Dream” speech, and perhaps even the many times he went to jail. Frequently lost, or at least less often recalled, is Martin Luther King Jr. the man. As Jonathon Eig wrote in King: A Life, “King was a man, not a saint, not a symbol. He chewed his fingernails. He shouted at the TV during quiz shows. He hid his cigarettes from his children. He had a little dog named Topsy. … As an adult, he was hospitalized repeatedly for what he called exhaustion and others described as depression. He possessed a wicked sense of humor, improved by the knowledge that certain jokes were funnier coming from a Baptist minister… ”
If we ever think, “It’s too much. There’s too many bad things happening in the world. How could I possibly make a difference? I’m just one person”, we urge you to remember MLK the man. We encourage everyone to honor his legacy by making this the year you do more in the work of creating a just and equitable world around you. We invite you to join us in continuing his work.