Saturday, 13 January 2018

keep moving from this mountain

This coming Monday—for the first time in nearly five decades since the civil rights reformer’s assassination, the city of Biloxi, Mississippi will officially observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day under the name it goes by across the United States rather than “Great Americans Day,” as Sarah Holder reports for Citylab. I wonder if the addition or omission of a plural apostrophe carries a significance—like with Presidents’ Day.
The choice of name was a compromise and a way to distance the holiday from conflating it with Confederate General Robert E Lee—as other neighbouring municipalities had done—and illustrates how fraught with controversy that the occasion has been since declared a federal holiday in 1986 with universal adoption being a slow and contentious battle. The spectre of the Confederacy and the attitudes and values it enshrined still haunting the present and frustration those dreams and visions that we fight for and uphold, it seems counter to the adage that history is something inscribed by the winners—lest we concede all is lost to the forces of hate and regression—but perhaps now because at least all places across that country (it’s also celebrated internationally in Toronto, Hiroshima and the Hague) can share the same celebration, we will have the strength to fight another day.