Saturday, January 16, 2010

Who is Martin Luther King?

"Why do we have Monday off? Is it Valentine's day?" Isaac asked.

I explained that it was Martin Luther King day. "Do you know who Martin Luther King was?" I asked him.

His answer inspired me to ask all my boys what they knew about Martin Luther King. Here are there responses:

Isaac, 5 years old
Martin Luther King is a guy who is dead. He wanted to change the rules. He changed the rules so that brown people and white people didn't have to go to different schools. He changed the rule that said brown people and white people couldn't ride on the same bus. I know a song about Martin Luther King with sign language. (He proceeds to sing, "Freedom, freedom, let it ring. Let us live in harmony. Peace and love for you and me...)

Jonah, 7 years old
Martin Luther King wanted everyone to have freedom and justice.
He had a friend who was white. And one day his mom said he couldn't play with him anymore. And it wasn't fair that he had to go to a brown school and go sit in the back of the bus. And if there were no brown water fountains, he would have to be thirsty.

Ethan, 12 years old
He's the guy who made it so black people wouldn't have to be treated poorly. He had a lot of different people helping him.

I tried to get Ethan to say more, but he got distracted and walked off. At any rate, I think it's interesting to see what information kids pick up.

I also noticed that evidently, "brown" is the new "black."


Erika said...

That was moving! I'm impressed. I don't know if my younger kids would know that much about him, which is sad to say. Smart boys, and you must have good school teachers too unless you taught them all that.

a said...

I learn something new about Martin Luther King every year. Lots of information I like, one piece I hate. Every year I try to reconcile my love/hate relationship with this man. As I sit in church judging him, the good and the ugly, I am reminded how fortunate I am that he does not sit in heaven judging me!

Allyson said...

I was in James' Kindergarden on Friday when the teacher was asking them if they remembered who Martin Luther King was. James said that he knew, and went on to describe how he wanted to change the laws so that everyone could be treated eaqually. He then went on to say, white skin, black skin and even albinos! I got a good laugh out of that one.