FILE - This April 1, 2012 file photo shows members of the audience holding signs of support as thousands gathered in downtown Miami demanding justice for Trayvon Martin during a rally that featured national civil rights leaders. The rally comes a day after thousands marched through Sanford, the Florida town where 17-year-old Martin was shot and killed in February. Protesters say they will continue holding marches and rallies until an arrest is made. Eric Holder, who is leading the federal response to the racial turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri, talks about the nation's civil rights struggles in a way none of the 81 previous U.S. attorneys general could by telling his own family story. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File)
A woman protesting the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in Washington, DC (Jazelle Hunt/NNPA)

Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, and Patrice Cullors-Brignac, HUFFINGTON POST

(Huffington Post)—Today, people across the country pause and remember the legacy of civil rights leader, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For many, the birthday of Dr. King is a time to reflect on peace and non-violence, to remember the dream, to perform service in your community, and for others, it is a much needed three-day weekend, a respite after returning to work from a busy holiday season.

Yet this year, King’s legacy is being thought of in the context of the #BlackLivesMatter movement which has spread like wildfire throughout the United States and around the world. Ignited by the killings of Islan Nettles, Mike Brown, Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, Aiyana Jones, Jordan Davis and too many more by police and vigilantes, Dr. King’s legacy and his work take on a different meaning in today’s world.

What we know about the legacy of Dr. King has been largely sanitized, re-configured, and appropriated to obscure his radical vision. Dr. King nurtured visions of a movement that could restore a deep and abiding love for all of humanity; a world where the restoration of democracy and full citizenship, of an economic system that could provide for everyone, and an end to war and militarization. Dr. King’s dream tackled poverty and systemic inequality. Ultimately his vision was a society with human rights for all.

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