Martin Luther King Jr. has lasting legacy of demanding change, facing challenges

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Martin Luther King Jr. was and always will be an influential person.

King was driven. He was passionate. He did not stop at the sight of fear or back down from trouble. He saw difficulties and he wanted change, and he demanded it in many ways.

King stood up for equality, something that today we have more of because of his influence and accomplishments during his lifetime.

Learning more about the sacrifices that King had made throughout his life has given me a greater understanding and appreciation for what he had to do to make a stand.

This year, in my AP Government class, we read his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” as a required document, and it just highlighted a pivotal moment that he had to go through. He stayed true to his character, however, and showed how strong of a leader he could be. This shows people today how to be passionate about what they stand for and be a leader.

On March 25, 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after a 5-day, 54-mile walk from Selma.
On March 25, 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. led thousands of nonviolent demonstrators to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after a 5-day, 54-mile walk from Selma.

Thanks to King, we are able to live more free and equal lives. Although there is still much change left to do, we would not be where we are today if it weren’t for Martin Luther King Jr.

He taught us that we should not fear a challenge. If you have a goal, achieve it no matter what.

You can see how much of an influence King had on people today. His face and his words became part of the Black Lives Matter movement protests last summer. This movement may be recent, but it has similar goals to what King was fighting for during the Civil Rights movement, centering around equality.

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As a person of faith, I admire how much King stuck to his beliefs and how he used his faith to drive his actions. He used his platform to reach out to his people. He told the people that respected him and would listen to him the most that change needed to take place. They stood by him. They helped him get to where he could get to.

This has influenced many faithful people. There are many activists striving for action in many ways all relating back to their faith.

We celebrate King's life on Monday. We celebrate his accomplishments. We look back on lows, and cherish his highs.

We see how important he was to society in the past, society in the present, and will continue to impact society in the future.

His famous “I Have a Dream” speech has continued to show us to not give up and to keep fighting.

Mary Kate O'Donnell
Mary Kate O'Donnell

Mary Kate O'Donnell is a senior at Pennsbury High School.

This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: On MLK Day, teen reflects on King's lasting legacy of change

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