Honouring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Monday, January 18th, Trinity College School students honoured the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and committed to actions to fight racism.

In the Junior School, the Allies Against Racism (AAR) group, which was formed in the fall, hosted a Black Lives Matter Awareness Day. In December, the group created Black Lives Matter t-shirts, which were sold to raise funds for the Black Youth Helpline and Black Legal Action Centre. On Monday, students were encouraged to wear black, including t-shirts purchased through the fundraiser, and they took part in a special assembly hosted online by the AAR. As one student noted, “It’s not just about wearing a black shirt. It’s about thinking about how you can work against racism in your own life.”

In the Senior School, the Black Student Alliance (BSA), also newly formed this school year, presented a video featuring many of the messages of Dr. King, with a Chapel Choir rendition of U2’s MLK (click here to view). The video was shown as part of Monday’s chapel service, which began with Canon Don Aitchison speaking about the life and legacy of Dr. King. From the BSA, Kamsy Onyekere and Latahja Beneby collaborated with Father Don on the chapel presentation.

The BSA shared an email that underscored Dr. King’s call to action: “As many of you know today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For those who do not know, Martin Luther King is an African American pastor, and civil rights activist, born on January 15, 1929. In 1957 he was elected to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This would give him a platform to continue his activist work in America. 

“Between his election in 1957 and the time of his death in 1968 he travelled over 6 million miles and spoke over 2,500 times. He appeared at every protest and action speaking against injustices. It was at the March on Washington, a protest for jobs and freedom, on August 28, 1963, that Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. It was at this event in front of 250,000 people where he spoke of the inequalities that are faced by African Americans and Black Americans. He gave hope of a better tomorrow where “One day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Unfortunately, Martin Luther King was assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968.

“Given what is happening in the United States now and the racism that many African Americans and people of colour face, it is important that we realize the dreams that Martin Luther King, Jr. had. We must also be active members that play a part in achieving this dream. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”