No doubt you have heard the story of Mrs. Rosa Parks, an African American mender who - for not giving up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus - in contravention of segregation laws, was arrested: she ran there. year 1955 and the episode was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Since then the struggle for the civil rights of African Americans he became more and more pressing and a Lutheran pastor named Martin Luther King made him the main spokesman, soon becoming the leader of the movement.
A man who, thanks to his innate charisma and his extraordinary oratory ability, managed to move masses of people in a peaceful and non-violent way to claim rights that the US Constitution guaranteed to everyone, regardless of ethnicity of origin; a man who supported his ideas to the extreme, paying for his ideals with his life.
The importance of his work was immediately evident and, in fact, the petitions to institute a holiday in his honor reached the Congress already the year following his death, which took place in 1968; only in 1983 was there official recognition, with the ratification of the national holiday of Martin Luther King Day on the third Monday of January, the day closest to her date of birth (January 15).
MLK Day is a day completely dedicated to the memory of the Atlanta activist, with deeds rather than words. In fact, it will hardly happen to see US citizens enjoying the day of relaxation, getting up late and dedicating themselves to idle activities: it is the day in which everyone has the duty to answer the question that King threw ("What are you doing for others?") and actively make oneself available to the community to stem its problems and thus contribute to making the nation better.
People of all ages therefore adhere to one of the many projects that are proposed: it will not be unlikely to see children and the elderly working together to achieve a common goal in the field of culture or social services on a day of celebration.
There are many New Yorkers, for example, who - accepting King's invitations to defend the rights of even the "least" of society - voluntarily make themselves available to combat the scourge of fame and lack of food among the poorest sections of the country. population, distributing food and raising funds.
Let us be transported through the streets and places that King frequented, to better understand his life and his ideas: we take a tour to Seneca Village, now included in Central Park and once the nucleus of the first African Americans, or ad Harlem, the neighborhood where MLK was, among other things, stabbed in 1958 by a mentally ill woman.
After that, if you have children with you, stretch out Children's Museum of Manhattan where you can introduce them to the figure and importance of MLK with the numerous activities proposed, such as some workshops that will make children reflect on the importance of giving their word and knowing how to keep it, but also how each of us - by committing ourselves - can do the difference; in the afternoon some gospel choirs will make the atmosphere of the Museum particularly suggestive and in tune with the day.
If you have the opportunity to stop in New York for a few more days, do not miss the opportunity to deepen the figure of Martin Luther King by participating in one of the events promoted by Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week. This year will begin with a candle-lighting ceremony on January 15th and end with a scholarship and awards gala on Saturday January 23rd.
Many activities, suited to the tastes and ages of all of us, await us in New York to celebrate MLK Day, let's take the opportunity to learn more and pay homage to one of the main figures of the last century; Finally, I remind you that the Martin Luther King Day it is a national holiday: schools and government offices will be closed; against, admission to the national parks will be free.
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