Dr. King delivering his famous “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963. Much has changed to improve the lives of minorities since then, but oppression continues in new ways and new forms, bringing challenges that both this generation and the next must face. It is up to us as supporters of enfranchising the next generation of leaders to continue the fight.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It has almost been six decades since Dr. King gave his speech in Washington D.C. on that warm summer day n August of 1963. One would think that since then, we would have more equality for people, be better off as a society & have less problems. That is unfortunately not the case.
Threats unimaginable in Dr. King’s era, such as climate, disenfranchisement & a global pandemic are only a few examples of issues that people are trying to address in light of inequality. However, addressing disenfranchisement is one way to address many other challenges- by giving the vote to the youth.
It is hard to know what Dr. King would think if he were still alive in this modern era. Perhaps he would be proud of the changes for the better to improve the lives of people since his speech. But I would also think that he would be disappointed in the lack of changes he has not seen. I think disenfranchisement of youth would be one of them. If it were not for that opportunity to deliver the speech that he is known for, many would not know Dr. King’s name. It would be likely that Dr. King would also want to hear the voices of future leaders to weigh in on the issues that not only affect them today, but issues that will affect them tomorrow.
There are many issues that affect youth. By trying to address them individually, change will occur slowly while other issues concurrently affect them. However, enfranchising them by giving them a vote will not only empower young people politically, but also let them have their voices heard on a wide range of issues, that affect them, their family and their community.