While the strides made by America in the decades since the death of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have been real and substantial, Scarsdale High School students learned last week that parallels still exist today to the struggle that Dr. King fought to overcome nearly 50 years ago.
During a speech Friday at the high school by Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the students learned that some of things the Civil Rights Movement fought to improve are still active today, such as prospect of unemployment among millions of young people.
“More than 5.5 million young people are missing from the labor force today,” said Muhammad, stressing that Dr. King fought joblessness 50 years ago.
Muhammad, the Executive Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library, was invited to speak to the students by Social Studies teacher Maria Valentin, who organized the Friday assembly. The event included a performance of “Lift Every Voice” by the school’s A Capella Choir and a video presentation of other modern examples of people who have fought for civil rights.
“You, the Millennials, will inherit the tools to change the next 50 years,” Muhammad told the students. “It’s your time to rise, to show steadfastness against confusion.”