During the January Board of Education meeting four students from West Lake Jr. High read aloud essays they had written about Dr. King and their own views about school diversity.
With the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, we wanted to share these terrific writing pieces about the iconic figure of the Civil Rights Movement and his legacy.
Here are the essays in full:
At 6:05 P.M. on Thursday, 4 April 1968, Martin Luther King was shot dead while standing on a balcony outside his second-ﬂoor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the victim of an assassination.
In his “I Have a Dream” speech, he spoke of equality for all people. He was against racism and wanted to see the nation come together as one, “United Nation.” He exercised his right to assemble and held many peaceful protests against racism. He did not deserve to die, especially in such a violent manner.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.”
Those words are an example that truly shows what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, peace and unity. To this day, a lot of the human race tends to believe that what Martin Luther King stood for was just racial unification, but I would like to object to that. The King did indeed fight for racial justice, and quite frankly I would like to believe that he would be proud of what we did in these past 46 years. If we look around us, shops, schools, and all public places welcome everyone, regardless of their skin color.
We have come closer together. But, would Martin Luther King junior be proud of the amount of hatred there still is this world- all based on tensions so pointless? A lot forget to remember that behind all of the many things the king did with racial justice, all had another goal behind it- peace. Why is it that we all remember the actions and words of the King, but we don’t bother to carry them through our daily routines? Actions are much stronger than words. The world is an imperfect place, and perfect is quite hard to reach, but why should that discourage us from creating a nurturing home? Instead of judging someone based on clothing, background, hobbies, could we all just take a moment to realize that all of our differences is what makes us unique? If we were all exactly the same, we wouldn’t hold the key to each other’s lives as there would be no need. Imperfection and diversity is what makes life worth living for. What we all need to realize is our diversity gives us the power to help others that are pursuing their dreams. There is a beauty in this, and if we could all keep this is mind quite more often, I am sure we could create and excellent home for the future generations to strive in.
I am here to talk to you a little about West Lake. In the world we are blessed to have many different ethnicities and lifestyles, each one of us is unique in our own way. Each unique aspect is to be admired and praised with such admiration, I’ve seen in many differences the pain that ethnic separation can cause but I fell that I am attending a school that is capable to embrace all the ethnicities that come with it.
It is a place where everyone knows everyone and not one person is unknown, wherever you turn there is a friend, we are not forced to act like this and we are not letting anything influence us, we do this by our own choice, mixing and mingling is our favorite thing to do. We could not imagine West Lake being any different. I fell that Martin Luther King Jr. would smile upon the actions and the diversity of my school because after so long we are close to being able to say Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is not a dream but a reality, a reality that I and the rest of my peers day to day.
At West Lake, we as students have the best insight on how the student population behaves. We see each other all time, we are all so involved with each other. Students look at other students as well as human beings, as equals, as friends. Some of my closest friends are Arabian, Serbian, and Asian etc.…
The racial barrier at West Lake is almost nonexistent. At West Lake every student’s ideas are valid, every student’s insight is heard. We all work together to make contributions that build on one another so that maybe one day we can lead Dr. Martin Kings Jr.’s legacy. Students at west lake walk into a classroom and interact with so many cultures and colors that we don’t think twice about how we got to this point.
I myself am Caucasian, Mexican, Spanish, Apache, Italian, French, Swedish, Scottish, Irish, & German. We have all this progress at West Lake but who’s to say we couldn’t have this everywhere every day? It only takes one person to make a worldwide change, and of course there will always be a form of discrimination to replace the last but looking at how far we’ve come, Dr. King would be proud.