Friday, January 13, 2012
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King is remembered for all he did to fight for freedom and equal rights. He is remembered for civil disobedience, civil rights and racial equality. Forty years later we sometimes forget how important that work was to all of us. In a school like Hope Highlands the majority of the students are white and come from mid to high social economic classes. Students in this school often do not know much about racial equality or civil rights.
Many come from intact homes and live in an environment where you can get what you need, when you need it. It may seem like the work of MLK is not important to a population like this, but I believe that it may be more important here than in many other schools where students still face the challenges that MLK faced 40 years ago. Our students need to be better prepared for society and the challenges that come with living as a minority or the responsibility that comes with being in the majority. I'll be honest, I haven't put much thought into this topic until I realized a few days ago that I had a day out of school. I stop and think about why we have the day out and wonder if our children really get it. As teachers and parents we have to take every opportunity to talk about the mistakes of the past, to make sure they don't happen again. We must also understand why we celebrate our accomplishments. Here are a few pieces of information to review as you think about the Monday holiday:
January 15, l929 Martin Luther King Jr. is born.
September, 1935 Martin Luther King begins school at the all-black Yonge Street Elementary School in Atlanta.
February, l948 Martin Luther King is ordained as a Baptist minister.
December 1, l955 Mrs. Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama.
January, 1957 The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is founded. Dr. King is chosen president. January, l960 The King family moves to Atlanta, where Martin Luther King becomes co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father, Martin Luther King, Sr.
December, l964 Martin Luther King receives the Nobel Peace Prize.
The famous "I Have A Dream Speech"