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