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Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors the famous American Civil Rights Leader who dedicated his life to achieving equality for people of all races. Dr. King was just 12 years old when he came to his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, to prepare children, like him, to march peacefully in protest for their civil rights. Most important, he conveyed his confidence in children to be a part of the crusade against racism by helping with the organization and leadership of that march. As parents, we might have a desire to protect kids from uncomfortable conversations, especially those about people doing things we might wish hadn't happened. But children today are aware of the protests following the George Floyd killing because it resonated with many young people of all races. There are many things to consider when teaching our children about Dr. King and the day we remember his legacy. Start by sharing why we celebrate Dr. King and what his life and actions have done to better our current world.

Here are a few famous quotes from Dr. King to recite and talk about with children:

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

"Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. Indeed, it is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it."

"We are not makers of history. We are made by history."

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."

"A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true."

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