The life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., appeared on full display during a special ceremony at Cicero’s Community Center. The Jan. 12 event featured community leaders who spoke about the impact King’s words and actions had on them, personally, and the community as a whole.
“While Dr. King represents the lasting change that came about from the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, his legacy stands for so much more,” said Kasumba “Kal” Lwanga, vice president of J.S. Morton High School 201’s Board of Education. “We witness his legacy at Morton 201, where our students are acheiving new heights as the AP District of the Year, earning college credit while in high school, and receiving full scholarships to attend prestigious universities throughout this country.”
King’s was a prominent civil rights leader in the 1950s and 1960s, marching to end segregation in the United States, especially the South, as well as integrating public schools and bringing an end to the “separate but equal” doctrine of the past. Prior to his assassination in 1968, King had begun work on ending poverty in the nation, as well, saying “the curse of poverty has no justification in our age.”
Joining Lwanga was Cicero Chaplain Ismael Vargas, who spoke of the impact King’s work had for the millions of Hispanic men and women living in the United States then and today. Vargas pointed out the religious justification King used to establish equality of all races, stating that all men are created equal under God.
Cicero Sgt. Del Torro also joined in the chorus of King’s legacy, proclaiming the great work the civil rights leader did throughout the nation and how the impact of his efforts continue to be felt almost 50 years since his assassination.
King was gunned down by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968, in Memphis.