Honoring Dr. King's Legacy

U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline

On Monday, we honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we think about Dr. King’s legacy, it’s important to remember not just his powerful and enduring words, but also how he always pressed for action and how deeply he understood how difficult this work can be.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” 

Dr. King was well acquainted with this continuous struggle and taught us that “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.”

In fact, on April 4, 1968, when Dr. King was murdered in Memphis, he was there to stand up for sanitation workers who were fighting for a fair wage and safer working conditions.

The night before, he delivered what became his last public speech – “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” during which he said:

“And another reason that I’m happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we’re going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demand didn’t force them to do it.  Survival demands that we grapple with them.”

Today, we too are grappling with the problems that have plagued us throughout our history. We are called, as Dr. King was, to act and bend that arc of the moral universe towards justice.

I had the opportunity to join with Rhode Islanders across the First Congressional District to honor Dr. King and I want to thank all the community organizations who put together these remembrances.

Delivering the keynote at the Ministers Alliance of Rhode Island’s Annual MLK Scholarship Breakfast.

A Moving MLK Memorial Service organized by the Woonsocket MartingLuther King Community Committee

Closing out MLK Jr. Day at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Providence