After returning from a long weekend devoted to honoring Martin Luther King Jr, the entire Belmont Hill community gathered for a meaningful school meeting regarding Dr. King and current issues of race. The Chapel started by listening to one of Martin Luther King’s many inspiring speeches, “Beyond Vietnam,” in which he criticizes the war in Vietnam, citing the vast cost of a military effort overseas while the American government still does not spend enough money to help its own citizens. Hearing Dr. King provided students an opportunity to quietly reflect about what his words mean to them, while the content of the speech remains applicable to our current society.
Mr. Collins then took the podium and provided further insight into Dr. King’s life, first remarking how powerful it was to hear Dr. King’s voice bellow through the chapel, and then explaining why he chose “Beyond Vietnam” as opposed to one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s more famous speeches, explaining that he wanted students to hear a speech that they were not as familiar with, and one that is still very much relevant today. William Stonestreet, an active member of SAFE (Student’s Actively Fostering Equality), said, “Mr. Collins’s speech was really inspirational and allowed me expand my view of Dr. King’s influence on this country, and it was interesting to hear a different speech that I had never heard before.”
Overall, the chapel was a great way of honoring Dr. King’s memory and reflecting on the meaning of the day, providing students an opportunity to consider how Dr. King’s work still influences them today and reminding the community of problems still facing our society.