Tidbits about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A few years ago, I wrote a book for Mitchell Lane Publishers
“What’s So Great About . . . ?” series. My topic was Dr. King.

I know it’s important for students to know that Dr. King was a great scholar, orator, civil rights leader, and so on, but I thought it would be interesting to write this blog about the things about Dr. King that students might connect with on a personal level.

Here are a few things about Dr. King that kids might find interesting:

1. One of his nicknames was M.L.

2. Dr. King’s original name was Michael Luther King, but his father changed

both of their names to Martin in 1935.

3. He did well in school.

4. At first, he wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor.

5. He and his brother both entered the ministry.

6. He often played games and read to his children just like other fathers do.

7. He was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in.

8. After the Montgomery Boycott, Dr. King was one of the first

to ride the desegregated buses.

When I was a child I learned about Dr. King, but I always left the lesson thinking he was inaccessible. Was he real, I wondered. (I almost had an anxiety attack when I learned during adulthood that he smoked cigarettes and shot pool. That’s not my point here, but it suggests that I saw him as more ethereal than human.) When I wrote the book, I wanted youth to know that he was real. He was a child who played. He liked to have fun. But he was also a person who accomplished great things.

During this time of year, I like listening to Dr. King’s speeches. I also like listening to Cornell West’s “Martin, Malcolm, and Medgar” song.

I hope everyone has a productive Dr. King Day!