Remembering Dr. King: Peaceful leader and 'agitator'


The daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Bernice King, will speak to Michiganders during a virtual event. - LBJ LIBRARY/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • LBJ Library/WikiMedia Commons
  • The daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Bernice King, will speak to Michiganders during a virtual event.

Michiganders are not letting the pandemic stop observances honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Junior.

Elaine Hardy, chair of the Martin Luther King Junior Commission of Mid-Michigan, said in the wake of global outrage against racism, Dr. King's message of equality and justice is more important than ever.

She noted while King was a peaceful civil-rights leader, he didn't sit quietly on the sidelines.

"He really was an agitator, and he understood that he needed to remind America of the promise that she was to all people, but how that promise was denied for poor people and Black people," Hardy explained. "And he did so very forcefully and with some very plain language. "

Around the state, annual events including performances and lectures will be held virtually, while others include volunteer projects which will be socially-distanced.

Hardy noted the commission is honored to be hosting King's daughter, Dr. Bernice King, during its Day of Celebration, which will be broadcast on WILX-TV 10 in Lansing and on social media at 7 p.m.

MLK Day also is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service, which Hardy noted is not just about "one" day.

"It really should be a day to wake people up again to the idea that every day should be a day that they go out and serve humanity," Hardy implored. "We should always be a voice for people who do not have voice. We should always say something or do something when we see injustice."

The Michigan Community Service Commission is supporting 56 volunteer projects that will benefit local communities.

Volunteers will be giving back in several ways, including thanking health-care workers, distributing food and providing child-size masks to youth groups.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.