Due to the pandemic and the threat of violence, many events are held online.
Every year, on the third Monday in January, Americans pay tribute to the slain leader of the civil rights movement, who in the 1950s and 1960s organized peaceful protests against segregation and for racial equality.
Usually, a variety of socially useful projects are implemented in honor of the holiday. Still, today, due to the pandemic and the threat of protests, the celebration’s scale is minimal.
Biden’s inauguration will occur in Washington in two days, with up to 25,000 National Guard troops providing security.
In Washington and its environs, separate public projects are still planned with respect to social distance. In Reston, Virginia, there is a garbage collection and cooking meals for the homeless.
Other events have been moved to an online format. So, the Folger Theater will hold a virtual performance with a reading of King’s speeches. The National Museum of African American History and Culture organized a free virtual music concert.
In Atlanta, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, which houses the home where King was born, celebrates the holiday virtually. The park has been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic.
In Montgomery, Alabama, where King was once a preacher, the Civil Rights Memorial Center held a virtual event on Friday.
The key to the success of King’s civil rights movement was the strategy of nonviolent protest, which he put forward as an alternative to armed rebellion. King said the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi inspired him.
In 1964, thanks to the King-led movement’s efforts, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act banning racial segregation in public places, and King received the Nobel Peace Prize.
A year after that, the Voting Rights Act banned methods used to prevent African Americans from participating in elections.
In 1968, 39-year-old King was killed in Memphis, Tennessee, where he spoke out in support of striking sanitation workers.