WASHINGTON - Fifty years and generations later, young activists in the digital age have taken Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and grown it into movements across the world.
King's passing sparked protests at Howard University in 1968 – and his spirit is still present in today’s protests.
“We talk about this being about him,” said Alexis McKenney, a senior student with the group HU Resist at Howard University. “Do you have a dream? Do you have a vision? And I think within the negotiation process, we have created a vision for Howard.”
“We learn about Malcolm and Martin,” added Jade Agudosi, another senior and president of the Howard University Student Association. “It turns from just learning about it to actually living it.”
From Black Lives Matter to #MeToo and the March for Our Lives, today’s activists are savvier and younger than ever.
“I know I’m only 11 years old,” said Naomi Wadler, addressing hundreds of thousands of people during the March for Our Lives protest. “I also know we stand in the shadow of the Capitol – and in seven short years, we too have the right to vote.”
Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are credited with some of the most iconic protests in history, but historians say Millennials are set to outpace their parents and grandparents when it comes to activism.
“From 2012 to present, especially 2016 to present – we have stepped into a new phase of the American project that you can’t really ignore what’s going on,” said Levi Perrin, who came out to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. Wednesday night to reflect on this legacy.
“There is still going to be a lot of work that will be done,” added Ezra Sales. “So continuing his legacy and also carving out a new path that will cultivate a new era of revolution within the black community and within the American community as well.”