Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Day

Today is Martin Luther King Day. Last night at dinner Jack was so excited when he heard he had the next day off school. He wanted to know why and I told him it was Martin Luther King Day.  I decided to ask him a few questions about MLK.

Me: So do you know why Martin Luther King, Jr. is so important?
Jack:  He was the most famous preacher EVER. Well, except for Jesus, I think. And he wanted free-ness for everyone.
Me: So what did he mean by free-ness?
Jack: Well, he had a dream and he wanted his dream to come true.
Me: what was his dream?
Jack: That the white people could sit in the same seats as the brown people and the black people and everybody.
Me: welllll...('s a good start)

It is very interesting to talk to him about race and color. I think kids have a great perspective about it. Growing up in a predominately white community, he thinks people with "different color" skin are beautiful and interesting BECAUSE they are different. His first crush was a little girl in his class who had "lots of really pretty clippy-things in her hair"  but he never did mention she was black.

We explained that  MLK wanted equality for everyone. He wanted everyone to be treated the same no matter what your skin looks like, where you live or what church you go to. We explained that African Americans were treated very differently and were made to sit in the back of the bus, sent to different schools, not paid the same wages as white people...etc and he had the strangest look on his face.

"But why?" he said. Then shrugged and shook his head. "Well that's REALLY not fair.."

 If only 1st graders were in charge.

"I have a dream that my children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

"Hatred paralyzes life. Love releases it. Hatred confuses life. Love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life. Love illuminates it."

Martin Luther King, Jr


Oogah said...

I have a dream: That all kids (and adults) could "get it" like Jack gets it.
What a great kid.
Oogah & TeeTee

Gabby said...

I love Jack!