I have a dream that one day, this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. MLK 1963
..."No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples' holiday. And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream."
~ Coretta Scott King
Teachers: Use the following story written by John Lewis about Martin Luther King Jr. to inspire compassion and activism in your students, and ask them to identify a civil rights issue they can learn more about for this day of service.
The following story was written by Congressman John Lewis about his hero Martin Luther King Jr., the most influential civil rights leader in American history. Martin Luther King Jr. worked hard to understand human nature and its need for philosophical or spiritual guidance in order to create great change. This is his legacy that we all have come to respect and admire. His study of others who went before him gave him the wisdom to follow a good and righteous course in furthering the civil rights of all American citizens.
Congressman John Lewis talks about how Martin Luther King Jr. inspired him as a young man during the Civil Rights Movement.
1. How does this story by John Lewis communicate to others the influence that Martin Luther King Jr. had on the United States of America?
2. How important are stories about our own national leaders who have influenced large segments of people who live in other countries?
3. How does Martin Luther King's humanity and compassion for others inspire each of us to learn more about how we can make a difference in our own communities?
Learn more about the 1963 March on Washington with the Following Stories and Film
Nonviolent civil disobedience based on Christian beliefs started long before the 1963 peaceful protest, March for Freedom on Washington D.C. PASSWORD: 2march4freedom1963
The March on Washington in 1963 was a pivotal moment in the history of civil rights. What changes were made after this peaceful protest? What still needs to be done today to ensure equal rights for all? Who is working towards that goal in your community, country or globally? What can you do?
The following film created by a middle school student about Martin Luther King Jr. and why he is a hero.
Who inspired Martin Luther King?
Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays mentored Reverend Calvin O. Butts, who is now pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY.
Martin Luther King was greatly influenced by Gandhi's use of non-violent protest to enact change.
Who was inspired by Martin Luther King?
1. How did Bayard Rustin, Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, and/or Mahatma Gandhi inspire Martin Luther King Jr.?
2. Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, Marian Wright Edelman, and Barack Obama were inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. What effect did he have on each of their lives?
3. Who is an advocate for equal rights in your community or country? Share his or her story with MY HERO.
4. Who in your family or community inspires you?
Stories about Martin Luther King Jr.
1. Martin Luther King Jr. is a hero for many people in the United States and globally. What do you admire about Martin Luther King Jr.?
2. How has Martin Luther King Jr. made a lasting impact that still exists today?
3. Students discuss their civil rights heroes and are encouraged to submit the story of their hero to MY HERO.
Students analyze artwork inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.
Ben Heine pays homage to the great African-American civil rights heroes Martin Luther King and to US President Barack Obama.
1. Robert Shetterly and Traven Sherrod included text in their portraits of Martain Luther King Jr. How do these words add to the message of the portraits?
2. Marilyn Huerta uses broad brushstrokes and bright colors in her portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. Consider creating a portrait of your civil rights activist hero in the same style.
3. Notice the symbolism in Rattasart's painting. Click on the painting to read his explanation of the message he is expressing.
Related MY HERO Resources
After the assault on the United States Capital on January 6, 2021, it is more important than ever to stand up against unlawfulness, honor those who promote democratic values and learn to tell the difference between credible information and misinformation. Use MY HERO's multimedia resources Promoting Voting Rights and Democracy to honor those who worked to secure voting rights for all and uphold the values of democracy, including those outlined in the US Constitution.
Two very talented Jazz musicians come together to performed a tribute to MLK Jr. and The leadership that march on Washington D.C. in 1963.
The Martin Luther King Jr. lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.
Students are encouraged to share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program
Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.
Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.
The official, living memorial dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom
Organizer created on 1/12/2009 7:16:31 AM by
Last edited 1/16/2023 1:04:40 PM by Laura Nietzer