Avi Abraham Benlolo
We Need Martin Luther King Now More Than Ever
"My people were brought to America in chains. Your people were driven here to escape the chains fashioned for them in Europe" - MLK
01/18/21: America celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day today. MLK as he is affectionately called changed America and the world forever. Through his non-violent activism in the civil rights movement, MLK advocated for rights, freedoms and equality - something we need now more than ever.
It is clear that the fight for civil rights is far from over and that we must work harder.
MLK became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, just four years before he was assassinated. He participated in and led the march in Selma, resulting in the Voting Rights Act, legislation that helped African Americans exercise their right to vote.
According to one report, "King preached on the unity and similarity of the Jewish and Black communities in 1958 at a American Jewish Congress meeting. “My people were brought to America in chains. Your people were driven here to escape the chains fashioned for them in Europe. Our unity is born of our common struggle for centuries, not only to rid ourselves of bondage, but to make oppression of any people by others an impossibility,” King said.
Its widely known that Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, considered a major figure and theologian in the Jewish community, was a close friend and supporter of MLK. He was said to have been photographed with MLK marching in Selma. He presented the Judaism and World Peace award to King in 1965.
"Much of my work and effort over the years in countering hate and discrimination has been based on the courage and heroism of MLK. I continue to study and gain strength from his courage, his imperfections and his personal sacrifice" - Avi Benlolo