Martin Luther King Jr. Day is only one of four United States federal holidays to honor an individual person. It’s observed on the third Monday in January, around the time of King’s birthday, which is January 15.
A campaign for the holiday started soon after he was assassinated in 1968. It was signed into law in 1983, and first observed three years later. Some states balked at the idea of designating an entire day to the fallen leader, but all 50 were on board by the year 2000. Americans typically celebrate the day with a parade. This year, why not set yourself apart from the crowd of spectators with your own custom designed T-shirt?
Putting together a one-of-a-kind T-shirt isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think. Once you have a germ of an idea, the rest of the steps come together rather quickly. The first thing you should do is determine what aspect of Martin Luther King Jr. Day appeals to you most. The man himself? His dream? His legacy? The current state of the civil rights movement?
Once you’ve settled on a theme, it’s easier to pull important elements together like text and graphics. Speaking of text, here are a few popular phrases you may want to incorporate into your custom T-shirt:
Remember the dream
I have a dream
Stop the hate
Let freedom ring
Along those same lines, a good idea would be to include a quote or two from King, who is one of the most famous orators in American history. It’s easy enough to find a quote–harder still to choose from them all. Here’s just a small sampling of King quotes to choose from:
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”
Quotes like these can stand on their own–you may very well choose not to add a graphic to your shirt. But if you decide to do so, there are a host of photos of Martin Luther King Jr. available to choose from on the web.
So why not make a custom T-shirt? Or, better yet, why not make a batch of them for your friends and family? It’s just one of many ways to honor Martin Luther King Jr. this January.