Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. According to Wikipedia, MLK Day falls on the 3rd Monday of January, which is around the time of King’s birthday.
I listened to part of an interview on NPR with civil rights lawyer and professor, Michelle Alexander. When asked how she marks MLK Day, Alexander said that she goes back and reads King’s writing. This sounds like a good idea to me, especially given that I haven’t read much of his work.
Alexander also talked about her what led her to write her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. According to Alexander, once you become a felon, it’s much more difficult to fully participate in society — you don’t qualify for various programs, you face employment discrimination and on and on. Given that more than half of all working age African American males in some cities are in some way connected to the prison system, we’ve got a serious problem.
I don’t have anything particularly insightful to add here. I’m just glad that to have marked my first MLK Day here in the US.