Remembering Martin Luther King’s legacy

January 20, 2020

Today, every member of the SMART union will take time, in conjunction with our entire nation, to honor and remember the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

King’s brilliance, vision, leadership and ultimate personal sacrifice shifted the course of the history of our nation by shedding light and bringing hope to a nation marred by racism, ignorance and inequality.
“Dr. King understood that social justice and economic freedom go hand in hand, and saw union representation as a powerful weapon in the struggle for equality. Perhaps more importantly, he held faith in the immeasurable power working people have when they unify their voices,” said Larry I. Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD).
“By encouraging people to join together at work, in our streets, and at the ballot box, Dr. King did more than fight for a fair and just society — he showed working people that they have the power to change their world.”
King’s work and his words brought the promise of justice, hope and freedom to people of color and to the oppressed everywhere. His words still ring as powerfully, relevant and true today as they did more than 50 years ago:
“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
–- From Martin Luther King’s historic speech delivered Aug. 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
Read King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in its entirety here.
Watch highlights of King’s speech.
The National Civil Rights Museum created a website marking the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination, which occurred in Memphis while he was supporting union workers.