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MLK Day

January 16, 2023

Martin Luther King Jr.

Today marks the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. This day has been recognized as a federal holiday for 37 years. His actual birthday is January 15, 1929. Martin Luther King Jr. had a clear and nonviolent voice for activism in the Civil Rights Movement. The movement protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. Sadly, King was assassinated at the age of 39. Makes me wonder what impact this man could have made if he had the chance to have a longer life.

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the portrait subjects that Maine Artist Robert Shetterly has painted as part of Americans Who Tell the Truth. I really like the portrait that Rob painted of King (below) which includes King’s words:

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon… which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it … It is a sword that heals.”

Shetterly says, “without activism, hope is merely sentimental. Portraits of Racial Justice, Shetterly’s homage to transformative game-changers and status-quo fighters, provides the inspiration necessary to spark social change.”

OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS

On this day it’s important to remember that there were many other civil right activists and leaders. Each of them (below) are linked to the page on the Americans Who Tell the Truth website so you can learn more about the individual through their biography, and see their portrait that Rob painted of them.

Claudette Colvin

Thanks to music educator Jenni Null who shared this resource on how teachers can make this work a part of teaching and learning. I’m sure all of you have stories that remind us that this work is ongoing and not just a ‘one-off’. Thank you educators for your critical role.

The New Ways Teachers Are Talking About Martin Luther King Jr. – TIME

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