Remembering Dr. King

January 16, 2012 at 11:23 AM Leave a comment

Essential reading for the day…

A few years ago, I was working with a ninth grade advisory group as they were exploring their identities and how they were influenced by personal heroes. One of the girls chose to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr., and three identified with Maya Angelou. The students were about the same age I had been when Dr. King was assassinated, and I was surprised to realize how much of my knowledge of this great man remained as it had been formed in childhood. On Angelou, I had read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” but not the other four books that comprise her autobiography.

Together, we examined Dr. King’s life from the perspectives of the man, the mission, and the message. The student who chose to continue found her focus in the state of his dream and how it inspired her in the present. We talked about how Maya Angelou had been silenced by abuse as a child and found her voice in music and poetry. The assassination of Dr. King was the turning point in her life when she became an activist to keep his dream alive. However, each of the three young women studying her life saw her differently. While they all considered the events of Angelou’s youth similarly, one was inspired by her ability to open up and give and accept help from others; another wondered what drove her activism; and the third seemed most interested in how she achieved celebrity. Regardless, it was an incredible experience learning with my students.

On this day of reflection, Dr. King’s words remain essential to our world view. Always a good read.

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Entry filed under: Journal Entries. Tags: , .

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