Students, residents should make efforts to participate in MLK events

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Texas State students and residents have a unique opportunity to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. thanks to a string of interactive events hosted by the university and city.

Students and residents should take time to attend these events and reflect on their historical and modern significance, especially in honor of King’s friendship and collaboration with the university’s most famous alumnus, President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Last week, City of San Marcos officials hosted three separate events to celebrate both King and the civil rights movement. The events were accessible and student-friendly, one even featuring a Texas State student’s class project. The city as a whole made a visible effort to commemorate the special day, something for which officials should be commended.

Special guests Aaron Hussey and Luci Johnson, daughter of President Johnson, attended the commemoration and unveiling of a sculpture Monday depicting the legendary forging of civil rights legislation 50 years ago. The bicentennial anniversary of the momentous occasion provides students with the perfect opportunity to learn more about and reflect on the works and goals of King.
 
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Nick Kotz will give an on-campus reading today of his new book, “Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Laws that Changed America” in Taylor-Murphy Hall room 101 at 5:30 p.m. It is monumental to have an author of this caliber on campus, and students should take advantage of the opportunity to hear him speak.

MLK Day should be a time of reflection and celebration, not just an extra day for students to sleep in. It was not long ago when civil rights legislation was first drafted, and there is always room to expand and secure the rights of individuals. Taking time to think of the works and mindset of King would serve all students well, especially as American attitudes and ideals continue to shift over the years.

The editorial board encourages Texas State students and San Marcos residents to engage in discussions, participate in activities and honor the life of a man whose works and impact is still witnessed in day-to-day life. On the bicentennial anniversary of the civil rights legislation, there is no better time to live the words of King by treating others with the same courtesy students and residents would want to experience in return.