Friday, January 14, 2011

Martin's BIG Words by Doreen Rappaport

   Oh, how we still need the optimistic and hopeful words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Obvious still today when you read the papers and listen to true current events. While we've achieved some of Dr. King's goals of peace and equality, we haven't made it to the mountain top. People are still killed because of what they believe, hate runs through many and equality has not shown up on everyone's doorstep. Today has its own hot button issues. No longer are we protesting segregation based on skin color but we do protest the hatred that is still oh, so prevalent.  I love Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier's book, Martin's Big Words. I read it today to all of my classes and we had great discussion about it.  With two classes we were able to compare the Civil Rights struggle to more current events.  The tragedy in Tuscon came quickly to mind.

In his own words: 

"Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that."

"Sooner or later, all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together."

"Love is the key to the problems of the world."

See how each of them is such a universal truth.  Wouldn't it be great to live in a world where, even if you didn't love what someone else was talking about, that you just let it go.  Where you might just say "I just don't feel that way."   And if you are filled with hatred about someone you can't go to a gun show and buy a weapon and wake up one day and decide today is the day. 

The Civil Rights struggle of today is to give same-sex couples the right to be married, to share benefits, rights guaranteed in the constitution.  I understand the fear in this issue but just like seperate is not equal, equal is not equal until all adult Americans can marry and love who they choose.  Who will stand up for their civil rights?

I know I am a dreamer and am fully aware that hate and evil will always be with us-I just wish we could get to a higher level of dealing with hatred but after watching a Dr. King video on You Tube with students I noticed below how truly reprehensible the comments were...and they were only made yesterday, not 25 years ago.

One child at a time is what my mind tells me...
I read the book and talked about how I wanted them to wake up on Saturday, Jan. 15 and celebrate Dr. King's birthday and to do the same on Monday-I really tried hard to get them to understand that it was not just a free day off.  Kids are receptive and took my message and maybe, just maybe they will spread that love homeward. 

Rappaport's book is a triple award-winner and beyond!!

For more information:

The King Center
Doreen Rappaport's website.
Bryan Collier's website.



Peppermint Ph.D. said...

What an incredible teachable moment for teachers all over the U.S. right now...linking Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream with the events in Tuscon. Hate and violence are not the any matter how idealistic that idea may seem.

NatalieSap said...

We have several copies of this book and all were checked out last week! Will have to read it once it comes back. It's interesting to see what students and even teachers can tell you about King. For most it's about civil rights, but I hope that the peaceful and nonviolent message gets through a little louder this year.