In recognition of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation President and CEO David Hinson issued a statement Monday paying homage to the slain civil rights leader:
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived and died fighting for the advancement of the black community. His steadfast commitment to achieving social and economic equality not only inspired generations to continue toward this goal, but Dr. King also served as a mentor, supporter and friend of the Congressional Black Caucus founders.
‘You are demonstrating that we can stick together. You are demonstrating that we are all tied in a single garment of destiny,’ King told a group of civil rights leaders in March 1968, a few weeks before his assassination.
CBC founders, including the late Congressman John Conyers, the longest-serving African American legislator in congressional history, resolved to preserve King’s work and legacy. Within weeks of his death, Congressman Conyers introduced legislation to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. Some 15 years later in 1983, the measure was passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law.
In honoring Dr. King, we also honor the efforts of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus who work tirelessly each day to represent Dr. King’s vision of honesty, integrity and fairness to the more than 80 million people across the United States whom they represent.
I encourage you to take time today to reflect on the significance of this holiday and the legacy of Dr. King. I also challenge you to ask yourself, “How will my actions today and tomorrow advance the Black community in America and around the world?” In the words of Dr. King, “The job ahead must be massive and positive.” We must all contribute to our collective success.