My kids asked why they weren't going to school today. When we told them it was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day my seven-year-old son said, "Oh I know who that is. He is the guy who taught people that skin color doesn't matter".
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." I Have a Dream, 1963
It is so basic and so simple. Kids can understand a lot and when current events or historical events come we should teach the basic truths to our kids now. The world is hurting and though I will protect my children from some details, I want them to know the suffering and mistreatment of people so they learn to love well. The idea of being treated like equals is something kids understand from a very young age. We talk often in our house about the word "fair" and how that doesn't mean each person gets exactly the same thing. It means each person is treated like an individual that has value and worth. They connect with that idea, it is something that matters to them and they have an emotional reaction to. That is where we are starting, how to love well and how to show people they have beauty and worth!
If you want to give your kids some understanding of the importance of today here are a few links that helped my family!
1. "I Have a Dream" speech. It is 18 minutes but if you start at 12:54 you will hear the famous "I have a dream..." section which will be a great entry for your children. If you start at the beginning you will hear some inspiration for the Hamilton soundtrack in Dr. King's speech which if you are a fan like my family is an exciting connection to see how art is inspired by history and how the history of the Revolution was still effecting the 1960s and the movement for freedom!
3. The "I Have a Dream Speech" can be read in it's entirety
4. Dr. King's sermon, "I Have Been to the Mountaintop" on the Parable of the Good Samaritan