As Americans remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fifty years after his passing, social media has flooded with quotes and commentary about the civil rights leader's dreams, actions and legacy.
The third Monday in January serves as a holiday of celebration, but without parties or gifts. Instead, the day is best commemorated by learning about King's actions to strive for equality in the United States and considering how his words and legacy can forward social progress today.
Several celebrities, from politicians to athletes and reality personalities, offered up their thoughts on the leader's life, speeches and actions to honor him and call for continued change.
Happy #MLKDAY2018. Today we honor Martin Luther King Jr’s fearless fight for equality, and remember how important it is to dream!! Remember that your voice is powerful. Remember that you can make a difference. Spread love today, and every day. ❤️ #ThankYouMLK50 pic.twitter.com/rT6fvJ4twT— Kris Jenner (@KrisJenner) January 15, 2018
President Donald Trump:
During President Trump's weekly address on Monday, he offered up thoughts on King's life and legacy.
"Dr. King's dream is our dream. It is the American Dream. It's the promise stitched into the fabric of our Nation, etched into the hearts of our people, and written into the soul of humankind." pic.twitter.com/tyUZGTecDY— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 15, 2018
Trump signed a proclamation Friday declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day, an annual action by every president since Ronald Reagan in 1983 to commemorate the civil rights leader with a federal holiday.
He also signed last week a measure creating a new national historic park for Martin Luther King Jr. in Georgia. The park's boundaries include the Prince Hall Masonic Temple, a site that King used as the headquarters for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a White House spokesman said.prevnext
Former United States presidents offered their messages of observance of the holiday, which marks 50 years since King's untimely death.
Dr. King was 26 when the Montgomery bus boycott began. He started small, rallying others who believed their efforts mattered, pressing on through challenges and doubts to change our world for the better. A permanent inspiration for the rest of us to keep pushing towards justice.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 15, 2018
50 years after Dr. King's last birthday, it's up to all of us to keep his Dream of a Beloved Community alive: don't demean and belittle, inspire and empower; don't isolate and abuse, embrace and serve.— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) January 15, 2018
The wrestler penned a concise message in honor of King.
Rapper MC Hammer took a different approach from Cena, writing a lengthy tribute to the civil rights hero.
Grateful and Thankful to Dr. Martin Luther King and will not bow to the continuous rhetoric of Bael. We are Blessed and favored among men. That which is not understood is attacked and yet we Stand. One has to marvel at the dignity of the systemically oppressed people. Selah ?? pic.twitter.com/vbsVTFsxIR— MC HAMMER (@MCHammer) January 15, 2018
First daughters to the president, both present and past, also offered up tributes to King as a hero and leader.
"The time is always right to do what is right." Thank you Dr. King for your eternal leadership, moral challenge & inspiration #MLKDay— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 15, 2018
Athletes penned messages in King's honor using some of his most famous quotes, during which he called for justice and equality.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy ." - Martin Luther King, Jr. #mlkday #whynot pic.twitter.com/lL8wXMW0HL— Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) January 15, 2018
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK— Chris Paul (@CP3) January 15, 2018
-Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere- Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent About Things That Matter- #ThankYouMLK50— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 15, 2018
The Gotham star shared perhaps the most original tribute to commemorate the life of King, filming video footage of her morning walk to the Lincoln Memorial.
(music by me)— Camren Bicondova (@camrenbicondova) January 15, 2018
i had the privilege of going to the Lincoln Memorial this morning, and it dawned on me that I was able to stand where Mister Martin Luther King Jr stood, as the sun rose for the new day. very precious moment for me. thank you, Dr. King. #MLKDay pic.twitter.com/uaMxYws4iU
Happy MLK day xo pic.twitter.com/G3qSA5foWN— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) January 15, 2018
Comedians also offered up messages on the holiday. While some put their jokes aside, not all their tributes were met with agreement.
Happy Martin Luther King day to a true hero. This day means more today than it ever has. We all must honor the spirit of his fairness and equality and tireless search for justice. It is up to white people to honor Dr King, and to think about what it must be like to not be white.— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) January 15, 2018
Handler's tribute to King was met with mixed reviews. Some praised the comedian's "honest" outlook, while others considered her post to be narrow-minded.
Photo credit: Getty / Michael Ochs Archives / Stringerprev