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Honoring heroes, creating social change for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Monument

Martin Luther King Jr. Monument

Since 1986, the U.S. federal government has observed a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights activist whose nonviolent message and words of hope helped to create a vision for a future of racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. also advocated for social change and justice, and a great number of people list him among their heroes. In 2011, the Martin Luther King Memorial monument was erected on the Washington National Mall.

Since their establishment, some have wondered: does a holiday or a monument honor King’s legacy, or undermine his message by normalizing it? And just how do people identify heroes? Read more