Celebrating and reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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On Monday, January 17, 2022, America celebrates a civil rights icon. For many, it’s a chance to look back at where the country was in 1963 when the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered and to gauge the progress that has been made and the challenges that still remain.

Local business owner Izzy Turner discussed some of the things that he has dealt with in life and how communities can move forward and continue to strive for change, justice, and equality for all.

On Martin Luther King Jr. day, Turner reflected on a time in his life when he was confronted with racism, specifically in 1974, when he and his family were living in Duluth and trying to rent an apartment.

“I was in the Air Force; I was interracially married,” said Turner. “When I pulled up to go see it, the landlord saw me getting out of the car; he told my wife that the apartment had been rented.”

As time went on, however, Turner found moments in his that gave him hope.

In the Twin Ports, he said, there are small steps that people can focus on in 2022 that can make the area a more equitable community that provides opportunities for all who live here.

One of those steps is knowing how to listen.

“Racism may be based on the lack of communication, the lack of understanding of the other person. Even realizing that person has feelings, and because we don’t speak to each other, we’re not able to understand and listen to each other,” says Mr. Turner.

He hopes as people continue to live together as a country that they take some time and figure out how to make their communities a better place for all.