Saturday, January 18, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The other day I substitute taught in a first grade class and asked the kids what they knew about Martin Luther King, Jr. Several of the boys thought he might be a famous athlete but the rest of the class had no idea who he was.

When I explained about the racial discrimination that had existed back in the 1960s all of them, including those of minority races, were amazed and horrified. They couldn't believe things had been like that.

Well, that's good and bad.

It's good that things have changed so much those children hadn't seen the kind of discrimination that people once had to endure. But it's bad that they didn't appreciate what it had taken to change our society.

Yes, I know some discrimination and prejudice still exist, but it's not nearly as big a problem as it once was. And that's because of Dr. King and all the other courageous people who took major risks to stand up for what they believed was right.

I assume the teacher in the class where I worked today plans to tell her students about why they had Monday off from school when she returns. (She was very sick.)  It's extremely important for the younger generation to learn the importance of standing up for what is right even when it's dangerous to do so. Someday they may need to do the same thing themselves.


Joan said...

Thanks for the reminder, Jan!

Janet Ann Collins said...

You're welcome, of course.