Every year in mid-January, America celebrates a holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. By many counts, Dr. King was just an ordinary man – a husband, a father, and a pastor at his church. But his incredible dedication to a great cause made him also an inspirational world-changer worthy of the highest honor.
Throughout his adult life, Dr. King worked tirelessly for the cause of racial equality and justice. This means that all people, regardless of their race, should be treated the same and have the same rights. As Dr. King said,
- “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
- “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
His words are just as important today as when he spoke them 50 years ago.
Dr. King was one of the most powerful and influential leaders of the civil rights movement, traveling over six million miles and giving over 2,500 speeches in order try to bring about a world in which all are equal. Today, Dr. King’s influence can be seen all over the world, as millions of people carry on his message and work to make the world a better place in his name.
This video shows him giving one of his most famous speeches, known as the “I Have a Dream” speech.
- Here is a biography of the great Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Here is the last speech Martin Luther King, Jr. ever gave.
- Check out these great diversity and tolerance quotes for kids
- Here are several stories and videos from IMK about fairness
- Visit the website for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service to learn about this amazing movement and how you can take part in it!
- Visit the website for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center to learn more about this wonderful place and how you can help support it.
Topics for Discussion:
- What was the civil rights movement about? Why was it so important?
- What did Martin mean when he said that his dream was for his children to be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character?
- Have a talk with your parents or grandparents about their experience of the civil rights movement.
- Visit the Civil Rights Movement Veterans website to learn more about this movement, how it has affected people throughout American history, and how it still affects people today.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.