Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

My husband and I have never shied away from teaching our children the truth. Yes, there are times you want to shield them from the truth and protect them from the harsh realities of life, but for our children we don't have that luxury. If anything, the last three years has taught us that it is better for them to know the truth, than to keep them from it. As we are approaching the national holiday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of two realities: living in a country where they are taking every step possible to erase history and living in a country where I can educate my children in the comfort and safety of our home (May Allah swt continue to afford me this ability, Ameen).


I have every opportunity to provide my children with the truth, and have open conversations about racism, equality, diversity, and activism. My children, unlike so many others, will know the violent truth of our country's history, and in conjunction they will also learn of prominent figures that inspired many to fight against injustices. The legacy of our Black Historical Heroes, like Dr. Martin Luther, Jr., will continue to live on through upcoming generations of families similar to ours. This year I'm taking more intentional steps provide my children with the truth of these honored heroes, starting Dr. Martin Luther King. His nonviolent movement became viewed by many as passive, while conservatives misinterpreted King's nonviolent approach and used it to relinquish communal and government accountability of racial and social reform. Dr. King's message of nonviolence was not passive, but a catalyst for radical reform and commitment to change.


“White Americans must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



Below I'm sharing some of our favorite books and family activities inspired by civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that are great for MLK Day.


Books


Martin's Big Word: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

I Have a Dream: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King Jr. / illustrated by Kadir Nelson

When Martin Luther King Jr. Wore Roller Skates by Mark Andrew Weakland

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David A. Adler

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange


Activities


Art Study

Art studies are a family favorite, especially since our children love art. We use art as inspiration, and to encourage learning new techniques, explore new materials, and to create art with a variety of mediums. This year we are creating portrait paintings inspired by painters Richard Day and Derek Russell.


Dream Boards

Inspired by Dr. King's famous, "I Have a Dream" speech, create dream boards using cut-outs from magazines or printed pictures. Prompt your child/ children to discuss their dreams and aspirations in life. This can include spiritual, financial, educational, and/ or political dreams. Have a discussion on the steps they can take to make their dreams become a reality.


Read Aloud and Book Discussion

Read aloud and book discussions help strengthen language development and expand vocabulary, and are a great way to open the floor for critical thinking and deep discussions. Book discussions can be accompanied by any of the books above.


Food for Change

Food became a major part of the Civil Rights movement. Women and men helped raise funding for boycotts, black-owned "restaurants" became places where Dr. King and other Civil Rights leaders had meetings, and people nourished their bodies and souls with down home meals. Cooking as a family encourages togetherness (community), and teaches how food is deep rooted in our heritage and can be used as a message for peace, hope, and change.


As always, love and live naturally.










Brown Sweats Fig Hijab.jpg

Peace and Blessings 

I'm a Layan, of Naturally Layan and LAM Culture.  Thank you for joining me, as I share my journey of marriage, motherhood, and entrepreneurship. 

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