Category Archives: Martin Luther King

Thoughts for Black History Month – “I Am”

segregated

I remember the ’60’s as a time of turbulence – a time of triumph.  At the age of seven, my mother, siblings and I climbed the steps of a Greyhound Bus in Connecticut to join my father in Florida. My first image of “those” water fountains remains etched in my mind.  With no previous discrimination experience, I approached the “colored” fountain at one of our first southern layover stops.  I remember people glaring as Mom led me to the “white” fountain. I remember her fearful look as she hurried me back on the bus.

The sixties were an emotional time, but also, a time of great growth.  I reflect on those years often – especially when my students and I celebrate Black History Month each year.  Though happy “those” water fountains no longer exist – I regret that some in society too easily slip back into “water fountain” thinking.

At my first multicultural teacher training, participants were asked to share their thoughts in writing.  My thoughts drifted back to the ‘60’s…

“I Am”

I am thoughtful and loving – two traits you would know

If you’d take time to see what life’s lessons will show

I marvel at kindness imagined and real

I hear glorious harmonies, world echoed with zeal

I see hands held united in colorful hues

I see joy for each person – joy lasting, joy true

I am thoughtful and loving – two traits you would know

If you’d take time to see what life’s lessons will show

I see unity, caring throughout humankind

Immense rays of hope at the thought in my mind

I pity those left untouched by one’s plight

I’m troubled to think that this wrong won’t be right

I am thoughtful and loving – two traits you would know

If you’d take time to see what life’s lessons will show

I discern you are you and I am me

If love’s unconditional – why can’t we see?

I dream of the day when all equal will be

All loving you – all loving me

I am thoughtful and loving – two traits you would know

If you’d take time to see what life’s lessons will show

Nancy

multicultural students

Black History Month links –

http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/black-history-month.htm

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history-month

http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/black-history/

http://www.teachervision.fen.com/black-history-month/teacher-resources/6602.html

http://www.thinkport.org/Classroom/FEATURE/black_history.tp

Six Teaching Tools for Black History Month | Edutopia

Great resources!

Six Teaching Tools for Black History Month | Edutopia.

Remembering Dr. King, Dad, and life lessons from both.

MLK

He sat at the edge of the sofa, glazed eyes fixed on the TV screen, tears streaming down his face. My brother and I watched silently with our father as the body of Martin Luther King was pulled by two mules on a mule cart. Thousands of people marched in tandem. My father wept, not ashamed to cry in front of us. “Why did they kill him?” we asked.

“Come close,” Dad said. “Never judge anyone by the color of their skin. There are good and bad people in every group,” he said. “Look to the person, and not the group they belong to. Consider everyone as an individual – an equal – remember that.”

08-06-2009 11;44;31AM

This would be one of the many life lessons I learned from my Italian father. Like King, Dad sought fairness for all in a time when it was not a popular thing to do. Similar to Dr. King’s life cut short at the hand of an assassin, Dad’s life was cut short in a car accident. I would only realize the meaningful extent of both of their legacy’s through their deaths.

Today, I can see my father on the sofa and the images of King’s funeral procession as if it was yesterday. I take comfort knowing the lessons I learned from both that year are handed down to each new group of students that enter my classroom.

The significance of today – the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the historical second inauguration of President Obama will be meaningful to some though not all. We have come a long way but the road is long and we still have a way to go.

For the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech illustrated…

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=8961639&pid=8961633