As the government shutdown enters its’ fourth week—and with no end in sight—many are wondering if the government shutdown will end in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The current assumption is a distressing “no” and this, of course, is distressing for lovers of the civil rights icon and keen observers of the holiday.
One such observer includes Nikeland Nichols, who told CNN, that visiting historical sites where Martin Luther King Jr. lived, worked, walked, and worshiped is part of a celebrated family tradition where they honor the icon and his legacy and everything he did for the struggle of Black people in America. Nichols stated that this tradition may be in danger this year, particularly because historic sites like MLK’s home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and almost all of the Martin Luther King Kr. National Historic Park in Atlanta remain closed. The latter is perhaps salt in the wounds that have been caused by the government shutdown, particularly because that site is one of several National Park Service locations that have had to be closed down due to the government shutdown.
Nichols continues, speaking on the disappointing nature of the site closure: “It’s disheartening and disappointing. For us, it’s very important to see the places that made this man be such a change agent and a front-runner at a time when we were not accepted because of our skin.”
MLK Day takes place every year on the third Monday in January. Here’s to hoping that the shutdown does not reach a fifth week.