What does Dr. King mean to you?


Micaja Jeune

WE ARE UNIFIED: (L-R) Freshmen Raya Holmes of the Pre-Law Academy, Veltenna Estiverne in the Medical Academy and Angelita Torres in Pre-Engineering ignore differences and join together as one to show their friendship.

Guess what holiday is coming up on Jan. 18? Yep, Martin Luther King Day.

It is an American federal holiday marking the official birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, around King’s birthday, Jan. 15.

Martin Luther King Day officially became a holiday in the White House Rose Garden on Nov. 2, 1983, when President Ronald Reagan signed a bill proposed by Rep. Katie Hall of Indiana.

Dr. King was a very brave and inspiring man. He was an Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. His life and legacy is taught to young kids in many schools to share his message of justice and equality for all.

I asked some of my fellow Inlet Grove students what Dr. King means to them, to encourage them to examine why they celebrate this holiday.

What do you think of Martin Luther King Jr.?

“Whenever I think of Martin Luther King, I think of him as a man who made a huge difference during the civil rights and I’m very proud of him,” said Guromishea Jean-Louis, a freshman in the Medical Academy, smiling.

Veltenna Estiverne, a freshman and in the Medical Academy, said “Martin Luther King was a hero and very inspirational leader who inspired many people to follow their aspirations.”

Daniel Dumervil, a sophomore in the Medical Academy said, “This holiday celebrates why I sit in class with whites, Hispanics, and other races and be able to socialize with them.”

Rose Courage from the Medical Academy, a sophomore said with a bold voice, “Martin Luther King was an inspirational person that wanted everyone to have equal rights!”

Raya Holmes, a freshman in Pre-Law said,”King was a very inspirational man and now we are all equal.”

What does Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to you?

Dr. King “was a man who didn’t have just have a goal, he had a dream, a dream that boys and girls, men and woman all around the world would come together in unity and love each other,” said Mellaquan Kitchens, a sophomore in the Journalism Academy. “I have ultimate respect for him because he chased that dream as if he couldn’t be without it. I am inspired by Martin Luther King, and I’m glad to celebrate January 18!”

“Martin Luther King Jr. Day to me means that I can celebrate my family, ” said Angelita Torres-Jones, a freshman in the Pre-Engineering Academy. “What King did was speak for equality as many others did. He wanted us to hold each other’s hand as one, to unite us and not to fight. Because of that my parents never would have been together. I’m happy, that my parents were together and because they were happy, I was born.”

Rah’Dreamma Thomas, a freshman in the Medical Academy, happily said, “It’s just that time to celebrate how much diversity we have in our classes, on social media, and in everyday places and I know I’m gonna turn up!”

Speaking for myself, MLK Day is everything. Every year since I’ve known about it, it was always a day to look forward to. Coming to America from the Bahamas, it was very scary. I didn’t know anybody and I was sure I was going to get teased about being different. My thick Bahamian accent and Haitian habits weren’t helping my case.

Then in sixth grade, we had a substitute teacher who had us read a short story on a man named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; a man who did what people where afraid to do: speak up for themselves and do the hard work.

Because of Dr. King I sit in a class with students from many different backgrounds.

Because of Dr. King I can go out and not be judged by the color of my skin.

Because of Dr. King we are equal.

I thank other important people who took part in the Civil Rights Movement such as Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall and many more, because it was all a team effort in the end.

I always love watching the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Rivera Beach. It’s always fun with many surprises.

Diversity is a gift we all should appreciate. Because of Dr. King and the movement he led, we get to experience some of the best of diversity every day here at Inlet Grove.

Think about what Marin Luther King Jr. Day means to you. Why do you celebrate it? How will you celebrate it? Who do you celebrate it with.