“The American dream reminds us … that every man is an heir of the legacy of dignity and worth.”

Buffy Naylor, Senior Managing Editor

January 12, 2023

9 Slides

Each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we commemorate the life and work of Dr. King. We reflect on his life and legacy.

Legacy was important to King. In his speeches he referred to “the legacy of slavery” and “a legacy of creative protest.” But no legacy was more important to him than ensuring Blacks had equal opportunity to pursue the American dream.

In a 1965 sermon to his congregation at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, he said: “[The dream] is found in those majestic words of the Declaration of Independence, words lifted to cosmic proportions: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by God, creator, with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ This is a dream. It’s a great dream…

“The American dream reminds us … that every man is an heir of the legacy of dignity and worth.

“And so it is marvelous and great that we do have a dream, that we have a nation with a dream; and to forever challenge us; to forever give us a sense of urgency; to forever stand in the midst of the ‘isness’ of our terrible injustices; to remind us of the ‘oughtness’ of our noble capacity for justice and love and brotherhood.”

To mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, we asked a few members of the channel to share their thoughts on King’s legacy. Scroll through the gallery above to see their responses.


Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Buffy Naylor or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Buffy Naylor

Senior Managing Editor, Channel Futures

Buffy Naylor is senior managing editor of Channel Futures. Prior to joining Informa (then VIRGO) in 2008, she was an award-winning copywriter and editor, then senior manager of corporate communications for an international leisure travel corporation and, before that, in charge of creative development and copywriting for a boutique marketing and public relations agency.

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