January 17, 2019 4 min read 16 Comments

Dr. Martin Luther King is one of the most important and famous figures in American history. Without his work America’s landscape would be and darker and scarier place for minorities, especially the black community. King famously fought for equality using nonviolent protests and civil disobedience by letting the power of his words and the strength of his supporters inflect social wounds upon the establishments that sought to keep them down. A strong belief in Christianity and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi helped shape King’s approach to social change in a way that contrasted him to another iconic civil rights activist, Malcolm X. From the Birmingham Protests (’63) to his march on Washington that birthed his transcendent “I Have a Dream” speech, MLK exemplified all the qualities of a courageous leader in the face of growing opposition. His “I Have a Dream” speech stands as one of the most important public addresses in human history; if you haven’t had the change to listen to it before then checkout the link below:
  
We remember the Nobel Peace Prize (’65) winner on the third Monday of January every year in celebration of his birth, work and sacrifice. In commemoration of Monday’s holiday we’ve decided to release a limited run of customized sneaker daypacks inspired by MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. “Dream” is embroidered on the front panel (sneaker compartment) of this backpack with Pan-African flag inspired accents. You can order this limited edition pack here.
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One hundred dollars ($100) of each sale will be donated to The Martin Luther
King Jr. Center For Nonviolence Social Change (learn more about them here).
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In today’s social climate it’s becoming increasingly important to remember what Dr. King stood for. Check out our top-5 BHM kicks that embody the spirit of Dr. King’s teachings below. Which pair would you like to fill your Shrine Co. ‘Dream’ Daypack with? Let us know in the comments section below!
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5. Nike VaporMax, 2018
Starting out our list is the VaporMax ‘18. This model has quickly become one of the most popular new designs for Nike with its all Air outsole. Small Pan-African flag accents can be found on the outsole and heel; but more importantly, the date ’08.20.1993’ is located on the heel. This date honors American Runner, Gail Devers and her gold medal winning performances in the 100-meter hurdles and 100-meter print at the 1993 World Track Championships. Devers defense of her 1992 Olympic gold title in the 100-meter sprint showed her resilience when confronted by formidable odds (she’s 1 of 2 women ever to successfully defend their titles post-Olympics).
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4. Adidas Harden Vol.1, 2017
Next up is the Adidas Harden Vol. 1 Black History Month edition. The 2017 theme centered around tennis legend Arthur Ashe’s tremendous accomplishments. Ashe was the first, and only, black man to win singles titles at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. His great performances in the face of adversity and prejudice embody Dr. King’s dream of one day African Americans being able to compete regardless of the color of their skin.
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3. Nike Lebron 15, 2018
Nike’s commitment to creating quality products that benefit minority communities under the umbrella of Black History Month has always been top notch. Their 2017 campaign carried a simple message that Martin Luther King could have gotten behind - equality. One of the Civil Rights Movement’s central goals was to gain equality and fairness based on character, not skin color. The LeBron 15 boldly presented Nike’s call for ‘equality’ on its heel by stitching the words in thick, golden, print.
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2. Nike Lebron 16, 2019
2018’s ‘equality’ theme got cranked up to the next level on these LeBron 16s. The shoe’s biggest feature are the mismatching black (left) and white (right) feet; and in a bold move Nike created a mirrored pair so if both pairs are purchased then wearers will have four different looks to choose from. This release strategy is meant to symbolize the unification of races; they show that people (or shoes) can exist and thrive together. The literal representation of unity is a unique move that results in unique looks. The shoe’s heels substituted the bold, gold, ‘Equality’ with a subtle all-over print. A finishing touch can be found on the outsole where ‘Equality is printed across the Air bags.
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1. Adidas D-Rose 5 BOOST, 2015
Adidas honored Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with his own BHM collection in 2015 dripping in black and gold. Abdul-Jabbar was a friend and activist alongside Dr. King in the 1960s, and used his platform as a basketball star to talk about the social inequality his people faced. The Adidas D-Rose 5 BOOST features some of Kareem’s famous quotes like “a hook shot is worth a thousand words”; the shoes also featured some critiques of young Abdul-Jabbar’s abilities. The shoes themselves prove that the critics were wrong and that nothing could keep Kareem down.
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Additional information on The Martin Luther King Jr. Center For Nonviolent Social Change can be found on their Facebook Page,here.
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by Robbie Falchi

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