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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is typically appreciated as the first 3-day weekend after Christmas, but it is so much more than that.
January is finally here. A fresh start greets us in 2020 and invites us to an exciting year of new possibilities and change. At the beginning of each year, or at the end of the previous, we think of all the things we want to change or improve about ourselves or our personal lives. Many of these changes can be cosmetic or health-related, but how often do we consider the well-being of our hearts and minds? Thankfully, January has something to be truly treasured in store for us. During the month of January, Americans observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, hosting family get-togethers, church gatherings, and community events.
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Banks close their busy doors, the Post Office stops posting, and public schools grant their students a day-off from academics in observance of this holiday, but if you want to enlighten your family about the purpose of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, perhaps this new year of fresh changes and opportunities could be, well, the perfect opportunity to educate them.
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Daily Mom has created a list of ways to Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day with your family. Keep reading to get some inspiration and insight into the life of the man who helped pave the way to a healed and unified nation.
4 Meaningful Ways To Observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- White People: Start Building Bridges.
If you are a member of a biological family that marks “White/Caucasian” on forms, then building bridges is the best way to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Find a local African American Community and see what events have been organized for the community. These events are intended to create loving bridges between people who exist in invisible boundaries, and this is the best way to help your children to see that any boundaries that exist between people of color and White/Caucasian people are the ones that are created in the minds of fearful people.
- Serve A Multi-Cultural Meal.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors the memory and legacy of a man who led a movement toward unity of all peoples. Introduce yourself and your children to dishes served within different communities. There are so many resources on the internet that you can use to prepare these dishes, and this is a great way to get your children involved in the preparation process, too!
- Listen To the “I Have A Dream” Speech.
On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the famous “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. The symbolism of an African American man speaking to a crowd of thousands in our Nation’s Capital speaks volumes to the power of human persuasion but is also connected to the struggle of Black Americans in the history of our nation, having taken place at the memorial of the man largely credited to ending slavery in the United States. There are excellent online resources for children to experience this speech, and discuss the impact that it had on our nation at such a tumultuous time.
- Find An Amazing Book.
Reading engages a child’s mind in ways that are vital to a child’s proper brain development. Find a book that encourages children to stand up for those who are being oppressed! One book we love is “Enough! 20 Protestors Who Changed America” by Emily Easton. We are sure it will empower your children to stand up for those who can’t while simultaneously building an excellent educational foundation.
The work of Martin Luther King Jr. is nowhere near complete. Every day we are bombarded with more news about racial tensions in our own country. If we raise our children to be aware of these tensions and the importance of building healthy and caring relationships with those we consider “different” than us, we are building a stronger foundation for our country and its citizens. There is really no better way to spend a 3-day weekend.
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