Celebrations

What Would MLK Say?

Barack Obama's inauguration as the country's first African American president falls, fittingly, the day after Martin Luther King Day. King's son, Martin Luther King III, pens an op-ed in today's Washington Post, congratulating Mr. Obama but insisting that "We must all embrace this dream as our civic responsibility." Although Obama's election "carries us further down the path toward equality, Barack Obama's election does not render my father's dream realized." Jesse Jackson, meanwhile, strikes a similar chord in The New York Times, saying that "I can say without reservation that [King] would be beaming. I am equally confident that he would not let the euphoria of the moment blind us to the unfinished business that lies ahead." To mark the occasion, Obama has called for a day of community service around the country and will perform volunteer work himself along with Joe Biden, though their specific project won't be unveiled until later in the day.