MLK Jr. Day: Rise to reform the system

Ruth Pierre-Charles of Stetson University on MLK Day / Headline Surfer®
MLK DAY / HEADLINE SURFERPhoto for Headline Surfer® / 
Ruth Pierre-Charles of Bradenton, shown here, is a freshman at Stetson University in DeLand, majoring in political science. The 19-year-old reflects on the meaning of the MLK holiday in a question & answer session with HeadlineSurfer.com.

DELAND, Fla. -- Ruth Pierre Charles, a 19-year-old freshman majoring in political science at Stetson University, is active on social media, especially issues affecting African Americans. With that in mind, the Bradenton resident was asked to reflect on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and what it mean to her.

QUESTION: What does the MLK legacy and the civil rights movement of the 1960s mean to you?

ANSWER: I can't fathom how many leaders lay down their lives for freedom. The freedom to drink from the same water fountain, eat in the same restaurant and use the same bathroom as Caucasians. Leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for the future generations insisting on changing lives for the better.

QUESTION: Do you see MLK's holiday resonating in today's world?

ANSWER: Right now activists all over the world are rising up, fighting for their rights once again. The perception was that colored individuals have gained our freedom, but the reality lies in the treatment of colored individuals. Once again, they march globally attacking the corrupted justice system, demanding revolutionary reform. For they reached too far to let the works of many diminish in the blink of an eye.

QUESTION: Do you see the MLK holiday as a means for African American to speak out in today's world?

ANSWER: Yes, because they are tired of their brothers and sisters getting slain, for what they know isn't just burns in their consciousness.

QUESTION: How so?

ANSWER: The mere thought of ignorance ceases to exist for a greater purpose lies ahead in the achievement of transformation. They march singing spiritual song and referencing to quotes by Martin Luther King and other inspirational civil rights leaders to fuel their fire.

The mere thought of ignorance ceases to exist for a greater purpose lies ahead in the achievement of transformation. They march singing spirituals and referencing to quotes by Martin Luther King and other inspirational civil rights leaders to fuel their fire. 

QUESTION: Marches these days seem so organized. Do you think the influence of MLK has truly transcended time?

ANSWER: Mentally prepared, these activists understand who they are and what they plan to achieve.

ANSWER: Martin Luther King, Jr. states: "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."

QUESTION: What's the overall message of MLK and do you see it becoming a reality in your lifetime?

ANSWER: They rise with power of will, determination, and compassion, knowing one day the lives lost in the battle for justice will reform the system permanently.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.