How has Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. increased your life?

Following, individuals respond to the question, “How has Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. increased your life?”

increase verb: become or make greater in size, amount, intensity, or degree; noun: an instance of growing or making greater
PHRASES on the increase: becoming greater, more common, or more frequent

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. strikes a reflective pose during a March visit to Memphis and Mason Temple in 1968. (Photos courtesy of Mark Stansbury)

Dr. Karanja Ajanaku“I first ‘met’ Dr. King in January of 1985. He had been dead nearly 17 years. The ‘introduction’ was by his one-time scheduling secretary, Dr. Washiri Ajanaku, formerly Francis Sims Bascom. Through her, I got acquainted with the human being who she said gave all he had for all people, particularlyAfrican Americans. She paved the way for me to meet the man who would become my mentor, Dr. Nkosi K.M. Ajanaku, esq. He told me Dr. King was the ‘modern day Founding Father’ – the person whose life provides a bridge to the country’s Founding Fathers. Once I ‘tagged up’ with the Founding Fathers, he said, I would have the footing to pursue the idea of making Memphis a model city in honor of Dr. King. That remains my mission. In 2010, I’m determined to increase the pace.”

Karanja Aidoo Ajanaku,
Executive Editor, Tri-State Defender

Mark Stansbury“Dr. King increased my life first by setting an example as a positive male role model: A family man with integrity and Christian values. I was on one of the Civil Rights marches from Memphis to Jackson, Miss., photographing history along with my mentor the late Ernest Withers. Dr. King came and finished the march after James Meredith was shot in Hernando, Miss. We ended on the steps of the capitol. I admired him because he was approachable.”

Mark Stansbury

“While I’ve always been a relatively outspoken person, it was during my college years that I felt compelled to speak out against some of the subtle and sometimes blatant acts of racism that I encountered. I did so verbally as well as with pen and paper. I was once questioned as to why I was being so vocal. I felt, and still feel, that had it not been for the efforts of MLK, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, etc…, our talents would possibly still not be recognized. While Dr. King’s vision of equality has been realized to a certain extent, the fact that “Negro” is actually being considered in this age and in a country with it’s first African-American president says we still need to do more.”

Joyce Spencer

“Martin Luther King has been a great influence on my life. He’s helped black people to get where they are now; with getting jobs and the way they think upon life. (You) can do anything, if you set your mind to it. I can do anything that I want to do. Even though he was way before my lifetime, he has still had a great influence on my life.”

Donald Weems, 19

“Dr. King’s legacy has reflected a whole lot on my life style and living. A lot of things we couldn’t do back then, we can do now. He came and brought us a long way from slavery. We use to have to sit on the back of the bus and sit at the back of the counter to eat. There were separated restrooms: one for whites and the other for blacks, but now we all can do what we want to. He just opened a lot of doors for us. We appreciate him, and I hope that his legacy continues in the future.”

Tammi Dandridge, 47

“Because of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I know that I can do what I want…”

“There are no limits and I can do what I want to do, if I put my mind to it. Anything can happen and you can achieve at what you want to do. Just do your best and put your mind to it, and you will achieve your goal.”

Macihiela and Malaika Moore, (twins), 17

“Dr. King inspired me because he showed that no matter what the race is, no matter if its black or white, you can stand up for yourself. Equality means a lot, everyone has an equal chance and equal opportunity in life to be successful; to be what you want to be with no stumbling blocks – as far as racism – to hold you down.”

“Jr.,” 27

“Dr. King has helped me tremendously to get an education, to be able to go places I never thought that we would be able to go. He helped me personally come up from a place of being no where: not having any indoor toilets, not having any books at school and chopping wood and carrying water to (now) being able to have an education so you can be autonomous and go wherever you want to go in the world.”

Stephanie Jones, 44

“He has helped us tremendously. We, as black people, have come a long way. As I child I’ve heard about all that he has done, and as an adult I have experienced the racism. A lot of times we still complain about not having the right to do this or that. Now we are having a problem with people not wanting to vote. If we didn’t have someone to fight and die for our rights, we would still be as second-rate citizens. I love Dr. King and I honor his legacy. There should be more people like him.”

Natasha Rule, 33

“He made the whites and blacks join together to have a good time. And we are no longer judged by the color of our skin.”

Asia, 11

“When Dr. Martin Luther King passed in 1968, I was 13. I was down on Mulberry Street in the march. He influenced me in a great way. He was non-violent and a preacher of the gospel. I am also a minister, so he really influenced my life; and he is really a great example for the world.”

Rev. Murray Vasser, 54

“Martin Luther King gave an example to everyone what selflessness was. He knew that his end would come because what he was doing came with a price.”

Antario Pope, 29

“After the W.E. B. Duboises and the Harriet Tubmans, we needed another black leader, and he was the next step to bring us into an area where we felt more confident to progress in life, and go to the next stage and to make a way for the future generations to be more successful, and to accomplish things that just don’t affect ourselves, but to be greater than ourselves. So do things that will affect others for years to come. Dr. King laid that foundation. He was the one who instilled in me that I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

Maxie Kincaid, 50

“Dr. King has paved the way for me and my age group because he has opened doors for us that were not. Now our opportunities are endless. We can do anything, be anything and go anywhere. Nobody can stop us.”

Jasmine Ely, 16

“Dr. King, to me…one of the most prominent things that stands out in my mind is his selflessness. And as a Christ follower I really do use him as an example of how not to always put myself first and to always focus on the larger picture. So that is the precious gift that Dr. King has left me with.”

Sharcie Jones, 30

Myron Mays“Dr. Martin Luther King has influenced my desire to lead. He has shown me that it takes personal responsibility as well as a willingness to serve to be a great leader. A great leader has to have compassion and understand the needs of those of which they are leading. He has shown me that if you know your purpose on this earth, you will be better suited to be the influence that you’re meant to be on the lives of others.”

Myron Mays – WRBO Soul Classics 103.5 FM

“Dr. King helped me realize that violence wasn’t always the only viable response. He showed me that I had to consider a different path, that I had other options available to make my voice heard and my point made. Above all, Dr. King showed me that even in the face of insurmountable odds, I could prevail.”

Earle Augustus – WRBO Soul Classics 103.5 FM

“Dr. Martin Luther King has influenced my life from the sacrifices he made for African Americans here in this country. Peace is the most important thing he has taught me. Even with our very first African-American president, racism is still alive. Instead of turning towards violence, displaying a peaceful demeanor can pull races together.”

Yvette Whiteside – AM 1070 WDIA

“As a young man growing up without a father in my home I needed a positive role to look up to. Dr. King’s life served to show me that there is honor in serving others. As a radio personality, I take great honor in serving this community, modeling the example set by Dr. Martin Luther King.”

Michael Adrian Davis – WHAL 95.7 Hallelujah FM

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has influenced my life simply because he showed me that the true passion in believing in something is far beyond the thought of just thinking that something is right, but willing to die for what you believe in. He has also influenced my life on a leadership level because some people are put on this earth to represent more than just themselves or their families. Their life represents a movement on a scale that the everyday person can’t fathom or even understand. But deep down he knew his purpose and he served it to the fullest.”

Nate Boogie – Radio Personality – WHRK K-97FM

“The impact Dr Martin Luther King Jr. has on my life still continues. Growing up in the South and hearing the stories of how my mom boycotted and went to jail during the civil rights movement still humbles me to this day. Now as an adult, I look back and say wow. I was glad to be a student of a high school that was 70 percent white and 30 percent black and then on to an historical black college. All of this prepared me to deal with all parts of life from all walks of life. People are beautiful and the love for GOD that MLK showed us transcends all hater attitudes. If people can come together for the greater good, the world will be a better place. Dr. King also showed us that no matter what you’re going through, keep your head up and keep going.”

Jeff Lee – AM 1070 WDIA

“Over the years, I have done more and more reading about Dr. King and have come to admire the leadership style he had. He was so charismatic and easy-going in his approach to dealing with hostile and difficult situations. Looking at his leadership in comparison to others at that time (it) was seemingly easier to follow. That style is one that I’ve wanted to emulate in my management…motivating, inspiring, and effective. I appreciate the vision and determination he had. I’m glad that God led him in that direction so that we could live the lives that we do live today.”

Eileen Collier – 95.7 Hallelujah FM


Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 8:21 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. i was a young when dr.king was shot .but i will allway have what he said in my mine.

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