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MLK, Jr Day

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebrates the birth and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a young black minister from Georgia who worked for change. He gave of his time, energy, and life striving to create equal rights for all.

For many years, black Americans did not have the same rights as white Americans. Drinking fountains and rest rooms were labeled WHITE and COLORED. Black people had to sit in the backs of buses. Many restaurants did not serve food to black people.

In some places, black children and white children did not go to the same schools. Many black Americans could not vote. They also had a hard time getting good jobs.

Dr. King worked hard to make people’s lives better. He talked with many community and government leaders. He gave speeches about equal rights to huge gatherings of people. He also led many peaceful demonstrations. He showed people how to be heard without being violent. Change took place because of Dr. King’s peaceful ways and words.

In 1964, Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize. This world-wide honor is given to only a few people every year. People who work very hard for peace get this award.

In 1968, a white man killed Dr. King. Dr. King was only 39 years old when he died. He was a husband and a father to three young children. He was a leader of peaceful change. He was a martyr; he gave his life for his beliefs.

Dr. King’s dream of peace and better lives for all Americans is still alive today. In 1983, his birthday became a national holiday. On the third Monday in January, many Americans remember Martin Luther King, Jr. Students study about him. People listen to speeches and think about equal rights. Many ask the question, “What am I doing to keep Dr. King’s dream alive?”

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners

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