A guest post by Lindsay Blake.
Every year, Martin Luther King Jr. is celebrated on the third Monday in January.
This year that falls on Monday, January 16, 2017.
Growing up, I knew the basics of MLK. I also knew it was a day I got off from school. But as I grew older in age and wisdom I have come to really appreciate Dr. King and all he did for our country. I’ve read his autobiography and really admire his desire for peaceful change.
I have traveled to over 32 countries and lived in Cape Town, South Africa. I have seen a world divided with segregation, violence and ever widening economic inequality.
But Dr. King believed that the Kingdom of Jesus could reach into and reconcile the most divisive and violent spaces.
“Blessed are the peacemakers”
While Carsen is only 3.5 years old, I want to be intentional as I teach him the peace crafting power of the Kingdom.
I do not want Carsen to grow up “colorblind”, but rather celebrate our differences (whether racial, cultural, gender, economic, religious, etc.) knowing that God himself created each and every one of us for a purpose, and that we really are better together.
A great book that will help begin to teach our littler learners about this inspirational historical figure is The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. Board Book by Johnny Ray Moore.
“This little book tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. in a way that even very young children will understand. This simple but accurate account of his life begins with King’s childhood, making it easy for little ones to relate to his story. Children will learn that he excelled in school, became a minister, and worked to end segregation in America.”
A few vocabulary words I will continue to discuss with Carsen:
Diversity – Different
Celebrate our differences – hair color, language, color of skin, interests, etc.
Equal Rights – The ability for everyone to have the same privileges
Freedom – The ability to do anything you want (as long as it doesn’t hurt yourself or others)
A fun activity to show diversity:
You will need a white and brown egg
Ask toddler and discuss: What is the main difference in these two eggs?
Do you think the brown egg is brown on the inside or the white is white on the inside?
Crack both eggs open.
Ask toddler and discuss: Are they different on the inside?
One of the best pieces of advice that I have received from parents that have gone before me, was don’t skirt through the tough issues. If our kids come to us with questions on racism, religion, sex, don’t avoid the tough conversations. We need to use age-appropriate language and discuss the issues with openness and honesty.
How have you addressed different cultural perspectives with your kids?