British and American Festivals di S.Montrucchio

Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day is celebrated on the third Monday of January in USA. Martin Luther King jr. was an important person in the American Civil Rights movement [E1] [ES1] [F1] [I1] . He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929 and became a Baptist minister.

At that time there was segregation in southern states of America. Black people did not have the same rights as white people. Heavily influenced by Gandhi [E1] [E2] [ES1] [ES2] [F1] [I1] , Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached non-violence in his protests. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, African Americans [E1] , led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., used boycotts, marches, and other forms of non-violent protest to demand equal treatment under the law and an end to racial prejudice.

He spoke [E1] and campaigned tirelessly to rid the United States of traditions and laws that forced on black Americans the status of second-class citizens. Among these laws were those in some states which required black people to take back seats in buses or which obstructed voting by blacks. His most famous act was organizing a march to Washington on August 28, 1963, in which Dr. Martin Luther King spoke his famous "I Have a Dream speech" [ES1] [F1] [I1] . In this speech, Dr King states:

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all mean are created equal. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day event he state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."

In 1964 America passed the Civil Rights Act [E1] [F1] [I1] . This changed the lives of Afro-Americans forever. In that same year Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. Every year Americans remember Dr. King’s work by celebrating this national holiday.

Class activity to test comprehension:

Are these sentences True or False?

1. Americans celebrate Marin Luther King Day on the second Monday in January.

2. Martin Luther King Day started in 1986

3. He was a Baptist Minister

4. There wasn’t segregation in America at that time.

5. Martin Luther King won the Nobel Prize.

Surfing the net:

Martin Luther King class activities

Martin Luther King lesson plan

Martin Luther King Resource Page



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