On Monday, January 16th, the United States will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
And what a perfect timing.
Many Americans experience genuine and ongoing pain surrounding the events of 2016 that revealed ongoing racial tension in our nation, from police shootings to a gut-wrenching and divisive presidential election. On Monday, we need to be reminded of the incredible dedication of those who have already lived out how to charter these waters of injustice and division…. peacefully.
In a previous post, I wrote about an excellent children’s book on the life of MLK Jr. This week, my children and I read the book Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange.
Beautiful illustrations and poetic text make this book a wonderful read-aloud. While is not religious in tone, the book describes how Coretta and her husband prayed together for peace and equality, and also referenced the work MLK Jr. did as an ordained minister. This background information helps children to understand an important reason the Kings chose to fight against injustice in a non-violent way. They were acting in obedience to Jesus’ call to Christians to “bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:28).
The book also references Ghandi, who held very different religious beliefs, but chose to act and lead in non-violent ways. Ghandi’s example in India was a source of inspiration to many civil rights activists in the United States.
Coretta Scott proclaims a timely message for our children and for this nation: We can be agents of change within our families, our communities and our country.
And we can do it with respect, dignity and peace.
Best Ages: pre-k – 2nd grade