Featured, History, Holiday

Let Freedom Ring: 5 Fresh Ideas for Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day is Monday, January 21, 2019.

Coming up with fresh ideas to celebrate an annual holiday can be a challenge, but I’ve selected a few options that might help you out.

Martin Luther King Day is an opportunity to look back on a painful chapter in our nation’s history and to look forward to the ways his dream has been made true.

Here is a roundup of noteworthy resources for multiple ages to celebrate Martin Luther King Day:

1. Freedom’s Ring: A Visual Annotated Version of King’s Speech

FreedomsRing-screenshot

This beautiful and informative video is my favorite resource on this list. It is King’s speech, delivered in his own voice, but with visuals showing the day in Washington as well as annotations that can be explored to learn more about things he references in the speech.

His edits from the original draft of the speech are also highlighted, showing the changes he made that day at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

 

2. King Institute at Stanford University Collection

The video above is part of the King Institute collection at Stanford University. This collection also includes a “King Encyclopedia,” primary source documents and lesson plans.

 

3. A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood: A Musical Journey through the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

symphony-martin-luther-king-day

This hour-long broadcast is a unique way to experience the life of MLK along with some beautiful music from his life as well as music inspired by his life. Includes traditional spirituals and gospel music as well as pieces from Schumann, Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan and more.

 

4. PBS Collection of Martin Luther King, Jr. videos

This curated collection of articles and videos about the life of MLK includes Roads to Memphis, a documentary that explores his final days.

Another selection is Martin Luther King on “The Negro and The American Promise:”

https://www.pbs.org/video/american-experience-martin-luther-king-on-the-negro-and-the-american-promise/
 

5. Read a Book

You can never go wrong with a book. Here are several “living book” ideas.

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

“This picture-book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world’s most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport weaves the immortal words of Dr. King into a captivating narrative to tell the story of his life. With stunning art by acclaimed illustrator Bryan Collier, Martin’s Big Words is an unforgettable portrait of a man whose dream changed America-and the world-forever.”

 

The Cart That Carried Martin by Eve Bunting

“The strength and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. permeates this picture book about the funeral of Dr. King in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1968. Quiet, yet affecting, THE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN is a unique tribute to the life of a man known world-wide for his outstanding efforts as a leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.”

 

A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King, Jr., for Students
by Walter Dean Myers

“Arranged thematically in five parts, the collection includes nineteen selections and is introduced by award-winning author Walter Dean Myers. Included are some of Dr. King’s most well-known and frequently taught classic works, including “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream,” as well as lesser-known pieces such as “The Sword that Heals” and “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” that speak to issues young people face today.”

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