In celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Starkville Daily News asked residents “What impact do you think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has had on American culture?”
“There is no doubt that the letter from the Birmingham jail and the March on Washington left indelible marks on American culture. Dr. King’s ability to take widely accepted American ideals and express them as the rights of all our citizens changed the day to day lives and privileges of citizens who had been denied them previously. His message of non-violence drew fire from all directions at times but he showed the power of passive resistance, economic boycott, and the voice in numbers to change laws and lives. I think of him as a man of Peace and change. Dr. King impacted the issue of poverty and understood the economics and cycle created in society. I believe that his untimely death cut short his work in that area as well. He was ahead of his time in the understanding of that issue. Hopefully his combining the lessons of the Bible and the documents of our democracy will continue to remind us of our obligations to love all people and treat them as we wish to be treated.”
— Judy M. Couey, Superintendent of the Starkville School District
“His impact was tremendous and can not truly be assessed to encompass all that it impacts. He has and will continue to leave a lasting impression upon anyone who observes and takes into the things he tried to do and the change it inspired.”
— Orlando Trainer, Oktibbeha County Supervisor
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact on American culture is profound; it taught a constructive way of life that encouraged every human being to respect individual differences. Dr. King’s legacy is remembered not only during this set aside day, but also all year long it should be represented in everyone’s life daily. For his message embodies the struggles that people faced during that era and daily, as well as determines how far the American Society has come. Dr. King struggled to make life better and more substantial for people to be passionate, inspirational, and courageous in service to one another. We should never forget to pattern our lives each day, serving one another, helping one another and striving to demonstrate peace and equality for everyone. ‘All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.’ - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
— Dr. Peggy J. Rogers, director of the Council of Community
“Dr. Martin Luther King’s commitment to the ministry of Christ and his commitment to the pursuit of peace and equality positioned him to be one of the most revolutionary leaders this country has ever known. He was truly an example of what it means to be a son of a living God. Through honest inspirational dialogue and courageous activism, Dr. King was a powerful advocate for the poor and victims of injustice and inequality. I believe he along with countless others from the civil rights era changed the fabric of America by elevating the nation’s human and moral consciousness. Dr. King was a leader and a hero in every sense of the word..he was authentic...his actions aligned beautifully with his message and set the course for the deterioration of shackles of racism, minority access to education, jobs, homes, and the election of our first African-American President. In my opinion his greatest contribution to not only America, but to the world is that despite the constant snare of death at his feet he allowed himself to be a model for all of humankind on living a life consistently and passionately from sound spiritual core. He challenged us to look ‘beyond the calling of race or nation or creed’ and to ‘the vocation of sonship and brotherhood’ (Dr. King). His spirit continues to live on in countless Americans who share in his philosophies and who continue to fight for the weak and poor and against discrimination.”
— Tunisa Rice
“Dr. King’s had a profound impact worldwide as well as on the American culture in many ways. His love for his fellow man was so strong that he could and would forgive his worst enemy. His patience and tolerance so engrained, after being beaten and jailed countless times, he continued his fight so others may have freedom, equality and the right to vote. He spoke loudly and eloquently as he addressed the in- justice that prevailed. He spoke of unfair treatment and inequality not just for Black Americans, but for women and the disabled. He was a scholar and possessed the diplomacy to address international issues to help avoid crisis. Spoke out about war and third world issues. Dr. King became the leader that all men, women and children could look up to. At his side was a loving and devoted wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, together they and their children set a tone that the President and Mrs. Obama set today, the importance of family. Without Dr. King this presidency may not have ever been possible. This man was great enough to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his dedication to peace and equality for all. I guess the real question is what would Dr. King have to say about the progress we, his people, have made on keeping his legacy alive?”
— Ava Moore of
Ava’s Monogramming and Gifts
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Impact In America And “I Have A Colorful Dream!”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s impact in America was his being an a great activist for our civil right’s era. He helped us to have equal rights for all races under one Constitution especially for our African American citizens.
On Sunday, Jan. 16, the day before our national MLK holiday, Jan. 17, 2011, we sang a meaningful hymn at the closing of our church services at Trinity Presbyterian Church, that I would like to share with you.
We Need A Faith
“We need a faith so color-blind, so free from time-worn lies, that when we look from face to face we see the eyes of God.
We need an ethic of respect, an honest pledge of trust, that when we share the deepest things we feel the warmth of God.
We need to act as well as speak, to see each other’s sweat, that as we labor side by side we do the work of God.
Come, Christians, look for character and not for shade of skin, that as we rend the walls of race we live the peace of God.”
“I Have A Dream”... for you this new year of 2011... that we all learn to love one another thus making our United States of America a better country in this unsettled world. “I Have A Colorful Dream From My Art Palette Of Many Colors,” that this USA and our state, Mississippi be filled with many human beings who look just like a bouquet of beautiful flowers of red, yellow, black, tan, brown, white, pink, purple, orange and turquoise. We are truly very colorful people who suddenly become much like flowers in a crystal vase, and right above this vase is also a very colorful rainbow in the sky looking down on us with a happy sunshiny face with eyes, nose, and a red mouth beaming down, and wishing for each of us a brand “New Year” of better race reconciliation. Let us all not look for the shade of our skin, but instead my own artist’s very colorful palette of hundreds of colors. Then let us simply look for another American brother and sister who are just simply human beings, and they offer this great country and this ‘ole tired often unsettled world their new contributions, gifts, and most of all their hugs, kisses, and true love from their hearts and souls!
— Carole Elizabeth McReynolds Davis