Martin Luther King Day Activities and Ideas
More Ways to Celebrate
By Sally Tusa
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Here are more ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
Listen to music from King’s time.
This is a wonderful way to connect with the voices and sentiments of the civil rights movement. Try these CDs:
We Shall Overcome, The Seeger Sessions, Bruce Springsteen
We Shall Overcome: History of the Civil Rights Movement as It Happened (book with two audio CDs), by Herb Boyd, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee
Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966
There are a number of websites that bring King’s achievements alive through slideshows, video and recordings of his speeches. Check out:
The Seattle Times: MP3s of his most famous speeches, quizzes, a civil rights movement photo tour
Time.com: Photo-essay of well-known photographs of King during the heyday of the civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s
Western Michigan University: A timeline of the civil rights movement that includes many photographs and is terrific for young children
Take in a parade.
Many cities (including New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas) as well as smaller towns across the country hold parades on Martin Luther King Jr Day. They offer an opportunity to talk to kids about the groups marching in the parade and what the marchers are commemorating.
King encouraged everyone to participate in civic life as much as possible, so a wonderful way to honor him is to use the day to give back to the community. To find family-friendly volunteer opportunities in your area, check with your local religious group, community center, or YMCA, or search online at Volunteermatch.org and USAfreedomcorps.gov (enter your zip code and area of interest for each).
Visit King’s home.
If you’re in the Atlanta area, you can tour King’s birth home, family church, and a museum dedicated to his life and teachings. Admission is free; for more information go to Thekingcenter.org.
Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. by reading our biography of Dr. King's life.