Posts Tagged ‘experiencing MLK day from child’s point of view’

This past Friday I was cleaning out the supply closet with a couple of colleagues. We came across a publication of the “87 Observer” from 1960. While going through the newspaper we were struck by a poem written by a 6th grade girl named Debbie Green. I am going to publish it here today to offer up some hope, light and love in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. It is through the eyes of children that we can remember the true meaning of being united, being equal, setting aside hate. So, thank you Debbie Green, wherever you may be now, for a little reminder, especially in these trying days.

“A Poem of Brotherhood”

Human Rights- Debbie Green 6-5

When thinking of human rights,

A phase oft comes to me,

“All men are created equal”

And should be equally free.

Most of us have been made to realize

Just what human rights are,

If only the world would awaken

We might go much further than far.

Someday this whole world may unite,

Unite as never before.

With every land, we’ll clasp a hand

To signify freedom galore.

Someday I’ll glance over my shoulder

And display a widening grin.

For I’ll notice that all are ignoring

The difference in race, creed and skin.

Well, I’m thinking of human rights,

And that phrase is coming to me

“All men are created equal”

But what ever will be, will be.

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“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the incredible things about embarking on this journey to New York City has been watching all of the new adventures and experiences through the eyes of our children. This past week has been especially thought provoking as both girls learned about an important figure in US and World history, the brave and inspiring, Dr. King. Ron and I sat at the dinner table and listened as the girls enthusiastically relayed the stories and lessons that they had been told.

R, (in kindergarten, our future politician) explained that there was a time when dark skinned people were treated unfairly and were not able to go to the same schools as light skinned people. She told us very forcefully that the dark skinned school was a bad school and did not have the same opportunities (her words) as the light skinned school. She could NOT believe that light and dark skinned children could not go to school together.  Her homework this weekend was to write out a sentence about something she had learned about Martin Luther King. This is the sentence she came up with “Dr. King knew the rules weren’t fair, so he helped to change them”.

A, (our 3rd grade drama queen) was much more animated in the telling of her story. She said that the story that made her ANGRY and that she COULD NOT BELIEVE was when a white woman told a black woman to get out of her seat on the bus and move to the back. And, she also wanted us to know that there was a time when white and black people were not allowed to use the same water fountains OR get married to each other. She said that Martin Luther King was assassinated for standing up for what he believed was right. A ended her story with “CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??”

Last night our oldest daughter wanted us to download a children’s book about the life of Martin Luther King and then she proceeded to read it to our youngest daughter. I have never been more proud.

They have good hearts and are just beginning to learn about the ugliness that unfortunately exists in the big bad world. I love that they want to learn and that they ask the important questions. I just hope that I am brave enough to answer them. They are the future and I love looking at it through their eyes. Eyes that do not separate by color, sexuality or religion. Eyes that look at the world with excitement, wonder, imagination and hope.  Eyes that believe anything is possible. Change is happening through this generation and I believe Dr. King would be proud.

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