Monday, January 21, 2013

A Simple Tradition: Happy Birthday Dr. King !!

Dr. King is a famous person in our house and his name is mentioned often throughout the year. I started a simple tradition of celebrating his birthday when Michelle was two years old. Since I worked in a public school the school day was closed! I always have had mixed feelings about school being closed on this day for observation because I strongly feel that it just was not what he wanted. Dr.King fought so hard for schools to be segregated that I have a hard time believing that he would want schools to be closed. His life was much bigger than that, and too many people lost their lives for the right to go to school.

 I wanted to always make sure that my kids had something special to look forward to celebrating King Day then a day off of school so I created a Birthday Celebration. Very simple, some years we make the cake and some years we go and buy a store brought cake. We listen to stories about the life of Dr. King as well as watch videos about the civil rights movement.

My kids will be the first to tell you that Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929 and died on April 4, 1968. They have had the opportunity to personally interview family members who marched with Dr. King and heard stories about the day he was assassinated and how the whole country was in turmoil.

This year we decided to examine the " I Have A Dream" speech in its ENTIRETY. They listened to him give his speech over and over using the audio CD from Hip Hop Speaks to Children.

   They  have enjoyed hearing his voice and making new connections that they were not able to do last year.                                

 They have become fascinated by this book since it included geography that they could follow when Dr. Kings speaks about Letting freedom ring from from the hilltops of New Hampshire....

 It is a simple tradition that I pray continues in our family for generations to come.

How do you celebrate Dr. King Day?                                                                                                                                                                                                                


  1. I love your thinking on this! I have no traditions related to this holiday, but I was thinking while reading this how nice it would be to listen to some of Dr. King's speeches while I make dinner this evening. Perhaps I'll make tradition of that! I have one book on Dr. King that I'm looking forward to reading with Annabelle today, because I think it will really sink in this year. I never thought about how he may feel about closing schools in his name - what you day makes sense, and makes me feel good about having had school today, which we did!

  2. Thank you! Good for you for having school today!! Listening to his speeches is all it takes to start a tradition.

  3. The birthday cake is such a wonderful idea! I must say that I never thought about the schools being closed in quite that way, but I think you are right. My 6-year-old daughter was old enough this year to really get into some of the children's videos about Dr. King and one from about Rosa Parks. She was especially taken with Rosa's courageous stand on the bus.

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  5. I am going to have to check out that book! We love listening to MLK give his speeches each year.


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