America's most prominent civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., would have been proud to see Barack Obama sworn in as president tomorrow if he had lived to see his 80th birthday. MLK's legacy of working for equality is celebrated each year. Watch this moving excerpt of his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, given on the eve of his death, and take this quiz to find out what you know about the life Americans remember today.Take the Quiz
Teaching children about historical figures can be stressful because it's important to provide them with plenty of back story and ample perspective, which is why I rely on books to help me educate my children about weighty subjects. I'm crystal clear on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s immeasurable legacy and effect on our country and culture, but when my children start asking questions I like to provide them with age appropriate story lines, anecdotes they can relate to and pretty pictures.
With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day coming up now is the opportune time to share Dr. King's dream with your lil one's inquisitive mind. I like illustrated biography, A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. ($7), which tells the tale of the Baptist minister and civil rights leader whose philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience helped win battles for equal rights.
In 1996 President Clinton signed a bill proposing the establishment of a Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial. Twelve years later, friends, associates, and admirers of King are still working to raise the $120 million needed to build the memorial.
Yesterday, original civil rights activists gathered on the National Mall at the planned memorial site for a rally. Their goal: to raise the final $18 million so President-elect Obama can dedicate the memorial during his first term. King's memorial will sit between Lincoln's and Jefferson's, and the design pleases King's associates. Clarence Jones, who worked as King's attorney and sometimes speech writer said yesterday: "At some points, I was so welled up in the memories of what the memorial reflected that it really caused me to have quiet tears."
If you're in the mood to donate to the dream, a $5 donation will get you a band together to build the dream wristband! Are you surprised there isn't a MLK memorial already in Washington, DC?