Due to football related reasons I wasn’t able to attend too many events. However, for the few events that I did get to attend I enjoyed them immensely. Not only because of the important topics and issues that they covered, but also due to the fact that we never got the chance to enjoy something like this last year. As someone who is a minority it was really amazing to just see the immense support shown across the campus.
In order to celebrate MLK day, I went to several lectures. One was called “How Did We End Up Here? Navigating East Asian Identity & Privilege.” The programed examined the reasons behind the idea of Asian Americans as a “model minority,” as well as the reasons why that standard is harmful to Asian Americans and other minority groups in America. The second lecture I went to was called “Sing Me to Freedom: Music as a Form of Activism on the African Continent.” This program covered several African musicians, both modern and post-colonial, and talked about their activism efforts and the effects those efforts had on their country – or whether there was any effect at all.
As I will be unable to attend the campus events going on this weekend and on MLK Day on Monday, I will be writing about the importance of the holiday and the types of celebrations that take place nationwide to commemorate Dr. King and his work.
MLK Day is seen as a time to promote the rights of all people, regardless of race. It is a relatively new, federally-recognized holiday, and most educational institutions and business are closed for the holiday. Institutions around the country celebrate by having speakers come and talk about race, and service events take place, many aimed at giving back to the black community. There are seminars about Dr. King, his life, and how his work impacted the black community and their struggle for civil rights. One very popular discussion topic, at least that I have witnessed in the past and heard about, is talking about what can be done to further meaningful discussions about racial injustice (and how to remedy it) and how this applies to modern society and our lives. This encompasses the recognition of the discrimination and injustice that took place, and continues to take place, in the United States, and then actively taking a stand against racial injustice by becoming involved in activities that promote racial equality for all people.