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Caribbean: Thank You, Dr. King

Categories: Caribbean, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, US Virgin Islands, Citizen Media, Education, Ethnicity & Race, History, Human Rights, Politics, Protest

Today, the United States marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day [1] – a floating holiday which celebrates the birthday of the late civil right leader. The occasion resonates with Caribbean bloggers, both at home and throughout the diaspora and a few of them share their thoughts…

Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp [2], who lives in Miami, Florida, acknowledges the impact that Dr. King's “Letter from Birmingham Jail” [3] has had on his life, noting that his latest book “include[s] a few of the lessons that [he] had learned from reading and teaching Dr. King's letter to [his] undergraduate students at Miami Dade College”. He calls Dr. King's letter “one of the great moral texts of the twentieth century, [which] should be required reading in the training of young minds.”

Cuban diaspora blogger Michael Pancier put his tribute into “a little photo and video montage” [4], made from images he took during a visit to The King Center [5] in Atlanta, Georgia. His compatriot, Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter [6], also acknowledges the importance of the day:

The critiques against Martin Luther King Jr. and nonviolence [7] are of importance today because around the world in Egypt [8], Tunisia [9], Burma [10], Cuba [11] and elsewhere movements have emerged that are inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.'s example of nonviolent struggle [12]. In the United States elements within the Occupy Wall Street movement have embraced Martin Luther King Jr. [13] and are organizing acts of remembrance on his birthday [14].

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Live De Life [15] uploads a video of Will Kimbrough performing the “Ballad of Martin Luther King”, saying:

Figured this was appropriate for the holiday.

Finally, Afrobella [16] posts a heartfelt “thank you” to Dr. King…”for everything”:

Dr. King was assassinated 44 years ago, and in the sands of time it is easy to forget that Dr. King was a real person. A man with a beautiful wife and family. A man who became the public face of a movement. A man who tirelessly worked, marched, got arrested, spoke eloquently on the topics of peace, love, and justice — and ultimately gave his life to the cause of racial equality.

Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Without you, who knows where we would be today.