Martin Luther King Jr.
Two insightful Dingeman Elementary School 4th graders in Mrs. Kris Lee’s class write about what they learned about Martin Luther King Jr.
Using Words to Bring Change
Do you know someone named Martin Luther King Jr.? He was an African-American leader. He stood up for black people without using violence. It was a law that black people and white people were separated, and white people could go to better schools and drink from different water fountains! Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to stop this but with peace. Peace comes in different colors. Martin Luther King Jr. never fought back physically; instead he used words to make his points.
Mr. King was born in 1929. He lived in the south and had a white friend. But when his friend’s mom figured it out, she didn’t let them be friends because he was black and his friend was white! Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t like this at all. He wanted all people to be treated equally.
One other law was that when black people rode on the bus they had to sit at the back or stand and the white people got to sit in the front! If you were a black person and a white person wanted your spot on the bus, then you would have to get up and move. Rosa Parks was a black woman who was brave and she didn’t get up when a white person wanted her spot on the bus. She broke the law and she had to go to jail. When Martin Luther King Jr. heard about this, he got angry and told many black people not to ride the bus, so the bus wouldn’t make as much money. And it worked!
When Martin Luther King Jr. grew up he made a march and speech to end the law of segregation, and guess what? More than 250,000 people, black and white, joined him! Some white people thought the law was unfair and some liked it the way it was. At the end of the march he did a speech called “I Have a Dream.” This speech became famous around the world.
Martin Luther King Jr. died at the age of 39 in 1968. He was assassinated by a white man. There are a lot of leaders in this world, but one leader who fought for peace is Martin Luther King Jr. I don’t think there will ever be another leader like him. Do you?
A Peaceful Man
I bet you can’t think of a person who was as peaceful and did as much as Martin Luther King Jr.? He was a great African-American leader, and he believed that peace was better than violence. I think that he is one of the best known African-American leaders there has ever been. He was a civil rights leader who never used violence.
Mr. King was brought up in a very peaceful house where he was taught that peace was better than violence. He was inspired by his dad, Martin Luther King Sr., and eventually became a minister. When he was young he had a white friend, which wasn’t acceptable. He was treated unfairly because of the color of his skin and decided it had to change.
Mr. King decided that segregation had to stop! Remembering what he had learned as a kid, he did not use violence. He partnered with Rosa Parks after he freed her from jail. He led a bus campaign. Instead of harming the buses, he and hundreds of African-Americans stopped using the buses for over a year until laws were changed.
Mr. King gave many great speeches. His most famous one was the “I Have a Dream” speech. It’s most famous line is “… I have a dream that my children will hold hands with white children and we will live together in harmony…” A year after that speech, the laws were changed.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a great person. He was assassinated at the age of 39, so he never saw the laws changed. He would have never been the person he was without his family teaching him that peace was better than violence. Mr. King helped make the U.S. what it is today. Without him, black and white people would still be segregated.