Langston Newsroom

Receive updates as Langston news happens with LU Headlines.


Published 01/19/2015
By Kaylie Wehr, Digital Marketing Specialist

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a driving force behind the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ‘60s, but he was more than just an activist. He had a love for people that drove him to believe in a better future for all. King’s inspiring vision for the future has motivated many to take action in their own lives and strive for a better future.

January 19 is not only a day to commemorate King’s legacy, but also a day to celebrate black culture as a whole. It is a day to celebrate those figures in history who defined black culture by constantly working toward a better tomorrow and by encouraging others to not stand idle, but to have a voice and a role in the shaping of the future.

Historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, have played an important role in black culture by providing high quality education and preparing students to excel; a mission still continued today.

King himself graduated from Morehouse College, an HBCU in Atlanta, Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. King learned far more than sociology principles during his time at Morehouse.

It was there, at an HBCU in Georgia, that King met great thinkers and educators would become his mentors. It was there that King learned what true education was.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said.
HBCUs across the United States provide students with what King calls “true education.” Students are given the opportunity to strengthen themselves and empower others, while also encouraging them to make a positive impact in this world. They are taught to think larger than themselves. HBCUs contribute to building a better future, a mission King believed in and fought for.

Langston University began shaping black culture and the future as an HBCU in 1897. As the only HBCU in Oklahoma and the farthest west, many students from the U.S. and around the world began building their future on the Langston University campus.

As you walk through the Langston University campus, you begin to see King’s dream come alive. While LU is a historically black university, the campus has grown increasingly diverse over the years. One can now walk the campus and see many people from different walks of life, all sharing the same goal: shaping a better tomorrow.

It was an HBCU that assisted in building King’s character and knowledge. HBCUs have been a critical part in developing black culture and they still celebrate it today.

Langston University will celebrate King’s legacy with a March of Peace and commemorative program on Jan. 22, 2015. The March of Peace will be a candle light march beginning at 6:30 p.m. The march will end at I.W Young Auditorium, where the program will be held at 7 p.m.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. program will include student tribute performances and a guest speaker. Langston University students, faculty and staff are encouraged to come celebrate King, reflect on the past, and look toward the future, where King’s words will continue to encourage others.

On January 19, while many will enjoy a day off work or school, remember to also take the time to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Remember the impact King made in our world and how others were encouraged by his words and his love.

Search the LU News archives to find news that covers 10 years of Langston Features.