We’ll celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year on Monday, January 17 but anytime is a good time to become aware of why he deserves our respect and admiration. At 35, he is youngest person to win a Nobel Prize. He traveled over six million miles and gave more than 2500 speeches for civil rights. He was only 26 when he became the leader of the bus boycott. Throughout the next 13 years of his leadership, he was jailed 29 times, his house was bombed and he was personally attacked.
Parts of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, heard by over 250,000 people in Washington D.C., have rightly become part of our country’s legacy. So when President O’Bama uses “The fierce urgency of now,” we may not realize he was quoting Dr. King.
We may have heard : “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” but not know the context in which it was said. I urge you to read or listen to his whole speech and find out more about Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here’s a few places to start:
MLK the Journey of a King by Tanya Bolden. An excellent bibliography for older childen.
I Have a Dream, the speech with a forward by Coretta Scott King and illustrations by fifteen Coretta Scott King award and honor winners followed by a short bio.
My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris for younger children who might like to see that Martin once a child who played tricks, missed his parents when they traveled for work and became determined to change things when he was rejected because of the color of his skin.