What's the event?
A day marking the life of the celebrated civil rights campaigner, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. He was actually born on January 15th, but because the day is a national holiday in the US, it falls on the third Monday of every January. Dr King was tragically assassinated at the age of 39 in 1968. Despite his short life, King’s non-violent activism had profound effects on the political landscape of America. To this day he is revered for his work against racial segregation, poverty, and the Vietnam War.
How to approach it?
Dr King is often thought of as a figure of the past, yet most of the older generations were alive to witness the segregated world he fought to change. On this day it is important more than ever to draw parallels between what the world was like then and what it is like now. It is essential to celebrate the great strides forward compared to Dr King’s time, but also crucial to recognise that racial equality is still far from being achieved.
Dr King was killed in 1968. Do you know anyone that was alive around that time? What are some things that Dr King helped to change? Can you think of things that have stayed the same? What more do you think needs to be done so that, as Dr King says, all people will ‘not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character’?