Tips for Thought

Martin Luther King Jr. is an activist who leads the civil rights union. After his death, many labor unions pitched that his birthday should be a holiday. Nowadays, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday every third Monday of January.

If you’re looking to celebrate the life and message of one the world’s most influential figures, here are some ways how to celebrate MLK day:

1. Read some books about MLK.

Aside from being a civil rights activist, Dr. King is also the author of several books. Some include “Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story” and “Why We Can’t Wait.”

In addition to his work, several authors have also written about the man in various formats, some of which include children’s books. If you’re looking to introduce his legacy to your child or class, consider investing in these children’s books:

  • My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold;
  • I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer (Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos); and
  • That Is My Dream! by Langston Hughes (Illustrated by Daniel Miyares)

2. Watch a documentary about Dr. King.

Fortunately, we live in a world where documentaries are readily available online. If you’re interested in watching how the civil rights movement came to be, some excellent documentaries include:

  • “King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis” (1970);
  • “Soundtrack for a Revolution” (2009);
  • “The March” (2013); and
  • “MLK/FBI” (2020)

3. Do volunteer work.

Dreams without action will always stay as dreams. If you’re the kind of person looking to make a change, consider volunteering in your local community. Check out organizations that can help you realize Dr. King’s social justice and equality legacy here.

4. Write your dreams.

Dr. King is a famous orator with famous speeches before his assassination. His “I Have a Dream” speech is arguably his most famous and quoted piece, which contains relevant messages that we can use today.

As we reflect on his hopes and dreams of achieving a genuinely united country, consider writing down your dreams too. What are some things you’d like this country to achieve, and how would you want others to treat each other? Consider asking your students or children these questions and encourage them to share their answers.

Takeaway: The progress of making significant change requires making consistent small steps. As we reflect on Dr. King’s contributions to civil equality on MLK day, let us consider how we can help him achieve his dream as one.