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Martin Luther King, Jr. was born 83 years ago Sunday

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
World Telegram & Sun photo by Dick DeMarsico/Library of Congress

Happy MLK Day. Today is the official federal holiday marking Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday was actually Sunday 83 years ago, is celebrated for being a major figure who pushed for the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world using nonviolent means.

It is hard to do justice to King's life in just a few sentences, but you can check out The Seattle Times, which created a site in 1996 to commemorate King's life and work. King died April 4, 1968.

And since this is an education blog, here are some of King's own words on education. Writing in Morehouse College's campus newspaper, "The Maroon Tiger" in 1947, King talks about issues that still resonate today.

Here are a few snippets, but do check out the entire text

"It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the ligitimate [sic] goals of his life.

Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one's self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction...We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education."


Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@LATams).