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How we honored Martin Luther King Day

by Maria

Yesterday my daughter asked me how we were celebrating Martin Luther King Day, and I was a bit stumped. I explained that we were just going to hang out as a family on our day off, but she insisted that we do something meaningful on this day. You should know that my daughter lives and breaths fairness and equality. She was so outraged at age 7 about the civil rights movement and wrote a paper on MLK.

Because of her, this is how we honored Martin Luther King Day.

1. We talked about love

My daughter already knew the story of MLK, the speech and his assassination. They do a beautiful job at school of teaching this topic where we live. However, we talked about what we can do  to not be part of the problem of racism or hate in any form. She had really good questions, like “why would anyone assassinate a man who was only trying to make the world better? ”

That’s a really good question.  Unfortunately, most of us adults know the answer.

This Martin Luther King Jr quote is very powerful on love.

We made a birthday card

There is a little set of fences in our town where people hang birthday messages. We made a sign that said Happy Birthday MLK, and we hung it there for all to see. Not too many birthday signs have been posted for a deceased civil rights hero, but our town was reminded this was not just a day off work.

We wore our inspiring words

As my daughter rifled through her drawers (and her sisters), I was surprised how many empowering statements adorned their clothes. Martin Luther King Jr was the most powerful speaker I can even think of. Way beyond “I have a dream”, his words have the power of a thousand men.

I love the quote “No one has the right to rain on your dreams”. Okay, so please stop trying. You know who you are!

My littlest wore her “I may be small, but I have big dreams” t-shirt. It seemed powerful to me because my baby can dream bigger because of not just MLK, but all the people who fought for civil rights (and still do).


We watched a movie

Okay, I’ll admit it. We watched the American Girl, Melody movie, and I cried like a baby. The movie was amazing, and it showed that this civil rights movement in the 60’s there were lots of small heros. 


It’s true that there is a reason I like to celebrate every holiday. It brings thoughtfulness and gratefulness to my life in spades. I love Easter eggs and Christmas pagents as much as I love the reflections of a meaningful holiday like Martin Luther King Day.  I was very happy that my daughter pushed me past just having a day off.

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