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why do we remember martin luther king jr

The name of stands for freedom, and. But how much do students know about the man behind the name? How did he come to be such a powerful symbol and a nationally revered figure? We can take advantage of the day dedicated to him the third Monday of January and focus students attention toward the wealth of contributions he has made. Here are some recommendations for how to do just that:
1. Watch the speech from YouTube. com in whole or in part with your class. Have a conversation with students about what he said. You can also focus on the historical context of the speech, his technique in delivering it, or even analyze the specific rhetoric he uses to make it effective. 2. Read Letter from Birmingham Jail. This open letter written as a response to a number of questions regarding Dr. Kings movement and commitment to non-violence provides a thorough summary of his perspective. Read this with students, and hold a conversation about his ideas, his style, and the types of questions that are raised by Dr. Kings opposition. 3. Civil disobedience. Just what is passive resistance, civil disobedience, and non-violent protest? These unexpectedly powerful forms of subversion are at the core of Dr. Kings civil rights movement. Explore these philosophies and techniques with students, and compare them to other forms of protest and rebellion. 4. Assassination. Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis.

Have students investigate who assassinated him and how it was done. Then, consider with them why individuals are assassinated and what effect it can have on others. 5. Make speeches of their own. Dr. King was an incredible public speaker. Have students listen to any of his public addresses, and then write and perform speeches of their own that address issues that are important to them. 6. Lasting legacy. Dr. King died over 45 years ago -- but do the effects of his life still last until today? What did Dr. King stand for and accomplish in his lifetime, and in what ways might his efforts still be at work among our society? 7. Compare Dr. King to others. Although he was an incredible figure, he wasnt alone in his efforts or approach to civil rights. Have students investigate other historical figures, including Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X. Are there any individuals alive today who embody and apply Dr. Kings principles? 8. History of MLK Day. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is officially celebrated on the third Monday in January, which is near his birthday on January 15. Why do we have a national holiday devoted to him? Why do we usually have no school on this day? Investigate the history and meaning of this unique holiday. 9. The American Dream for today. Dr. King had a dream of his own.

But what is our American Dream for today? Is it the same as his or has it changed in some ways? Ask students to think about their own dreams and values, and to consider those of society. Have students talk about and write and record their own I Have a Dream speech video. 10. Racism and race division today. After all the conflicts and efforts of the civil rights movement, where do we stand today? Ask students to look into news stories, opinion articles, demographic research, and personal experiences to discuss where America stands on race relations, segregation, civil rights, and other elements Dr. King fought for during his lifetime. We only have one day throughout the year dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. But instead of simply allowing this to be another holiday that students enjoy a day off of school, we can take advantage this unique day and use it to inspire our students to witness the power of an individuals contribution to the world around him. How do you recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. in your classroom? Take a moment to share with us your MLK ideas or plans in the comments below! Jordan Catapano is an English teacher at Conant High School in a Chicago suburb. In addition to being National Board Certificated, he also sits as the District Leader for the Illinois Association of Teachers of English and serves as a school board member for a private school.

You can follow him on Twitter at @BuffEnglish, or visit his website ACTWritingTips. com. The Guardians Jamiles Lartey has spent the day at the rally and march in Memphis to commemorate Kings death. The I AM march brought together a diverse coalition of marchers through Memphis, where King travelled in 1968 to assist striking members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He was assassinated at the citys Lorraine Motel on his second visit to the strikers. Near the head of the march, Kings son, Martin III locked arms with Reverend Al Sharpton and Lee Saunders, AFSCME president. Nearby, some sang standby protest songs from the civil rights era, including We Shall Overcome. A few yards back, younger protesters who affiliated themselves with Black Lives Matter chanted no justice, no peace. They said they were marching to protest the deaths of young black men at the hands of law enforcement. Im here for, said marcher Tiffany Evans, referring to the unarmed black man shot by Sacramento police last month. Evans travelled from Mississippi for the commemoration. They're getting ready to step off here in Memphis to the tune of the Isley Brothers "Fight the Power". Most of the protesters were either union members or friends and family of union members, including Theone Hillard who came from New Orleans with her husband and son in support of the UNITE HERE, which primarily represents hospitality workers.

Im here for the people who get paid the least amount of money, and get the least appreciation, she said. Hillard, a registered nurse, said the march made her want to get more engaged with organized labor moving forward. I think all working people should have a union, because companies dont always treat you like they should, she said. David Woods, a member of the BCTGM (Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union) said one of the reasons he marched is because what union workers were facing 50 years ago compared to now hasnt changed very much. What were facing today is still corporate greed and the woking man is only going to have a voice if we stand up and rise together, he said. As the march pulled toward its end point, rounding the corner past a Checkers burger restaurant, the faint strains of the Trinity inspirational choir suddenly became audible. Marchers poured into an open field across from a Memphis High School to hear addresses from King III, Sharpton and other activists and clergy members. 50 years later, were not here to mourn, were here to recommit, Sharpton said. Were here to let this nation know that Dr King didnt die in vain. You may have taken the dreamer but you will not take the dream. We will march on!

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