This school year has turned into a subtle year of Black History studies. It’s not like we purposely study it every day (we are actually studying about early pioneers officially but bouncing around thanks to our fascination with the Hamilton musical) but it’s come up a lot.
I knew this year I’d be going to do the MLK march with kids. I’d done them in college, and a couple since, but I wanted to start the tradition with my own children. This year for the first time I brought my kids downtown to the MLK March to the Texas Capitol and we had the time of our lives. I hope this is a tradition we keep for many years to come.
I’m going to back up for a minute to our visit to Washington D.C. a few months ago, where we say the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial and where he gave his infamous speech.
We visited the new African American History museum in Washington D.C., the MLK Memorial and stood in the spot where he gave his I Have a Dream speech.
Then several of our books about Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks and the Lovings are easily some of our go-tos. Beyond that, last week I randomly picked up an American Girl story on CD from the library. It’s Addy’s story. Lil’ J fell in LOVE with these stories. We’re already on book 5 of 6. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s about a little girl who was born into slavery, and the story of her family escaping and trying to reunite.
It’s opened the doors to a lot of conversations about the history of our country, and some candid yet very casual conversations about skin color and differences. She LOVES Dr. King, and she had his birthday circled on her calendar.
A day after her birthday is our nations birthday and we get fireworks. The day after my birthday is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. We get to reflect on how far we’ve come, and how we can help bring even more unity in the world.
MLK March with Kids
In the past we’ve done little crafts and celebrated with “Peace Pie” (a simple dessert tradition we started). This year we added in the kids’ first MLK march to the state capitol building. I packed my son’s balance bike in the car before we left (best decision ever) and they had a blast! We brought canned foods to donate to the Capital Area Food bank. Did you know MLK Day is also now known as a national day of service?
We can’t wait to go next year.
Listening and Reading
When we got home we watched the I Have a Dream speech twice and followed along in a beautiful illustrated storybook I picked up at Half Priced Books for $3! I just checked to see if it’s on Amazon but it looks like it’s only available through scholastic.
Talking and Tasting
We put together some snacks and listened/read the speech while they filled their bellies. Afterwards we called Grandma Nan (my grandmother) and talked to her about some of what she remembers from that day. She told us she was in high school and wanted to go hear the speech but her dad wouldn’t let her! Lil’ J could not understand why he didn’t let her go.
Before we cut into our third annual Peace Pie after dinner my daughter said we each needed to say something we’re thankful that Dr. King helped bring about.
“That he taught love, not hate,” my sweet daughter said.
She’s getting it.
I hope it’s one of those days they remember for a long time. I know it will be for me.
If you made it this far let me know if you did anything to celebrate, or your plans for next year!