Demystifying Martin Luther King Jr – Simply for Young Children



As Martin Luther King Jr’s holiday approaches, I have seen a myriad of posts and educational materials coming out trying to explain to children who he is, what he did – and why he is such an important figure (maybe the most important) in our nation’s history.

I have seen him depicted as a stick figures with a big brown head or a big brown head with a mustache made out of a variety of thick lines.  But, is that who he is?  I wanted to put something together – a quick lesson – getting to the essence of why we have a special holiday – where kids get out of school and parents stay home from work.

This post is inspired by a public school parent who had no clue as to why her children were staying home from school on Monday or Tuesday.  I see that not only as a failure of the public school system, but a failure on the part of educators, the media and parents in general.  If something was not discussed in school  and brought home and shared with the parents – or nothing was said on TV – I find it an outrage.  He is the person that connects us all.

The only way to ensure that we don’t repeat history – is to understand it.  If we deny, we fail everyone – including ourselves and our children.

It’s my argument that Martin Luther King Jr. was essential figure – in order for us (all of us – white, black, Asian, etc) to enjoy the life we are living today.  Here is why.


Martin Luther King - Simple for kids Infographic


Martin Luther King Jr. was the first person who came out in the public eye and said our system of segregation is wrong.  There have been people along the way – but he was in the public eye.  He brought the issue to the masses – peacefully.  He was the bridge that took the thoughts of “separate but equal” being the accepted practice and changed hearts and minds to “equality for all” as the only option.

He was the public conversation starter.

As a result of the conversation, lots of things happened.  Rosa Parks stood her ground on the Bus in 1955.  The public (white and black together) started to speak up and make the ultimate sacrifice for civil rights.  Schools and universities started integrating.  Laws were enacted.

But, we must remember, that all of this was happening because the conversation had already been started.

Without one, you couldn’t have the other.

That’s my lesson to my children.  As they get older and mature, you can build upon this lesson.

I also share this very important and inspiring video from Daria Music.  He was important because he had a dream – and he shared that dream with all of us.

Even today, when I think about civil rights issues, I think of Dr. Kings Message.  Despite my personal feelings one way or the other – the issue of Gay Marriage is one where I think about Dr. King a lot.  How about you?  Do you ever think of him when you ponder current issues?


About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. I love this post! Thanks for sharing. I will include this post on Stanley & Katrina’s on Monday! I was about to search out great resources. Again, you are the answer to a prayer of mine. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Lisa!
    Oh, and by the way, I’m not keeping up well, lately. LOL.
    Christine M. (Cool Mom) recently posted…WOW: Katrina wishes to leave an amazing LEGACY from her work with The Wise Cat Council.My Profile

  2. I think it’s so important to identify conversation starters in our society today and teach our children to be involved in those conversations. It’s never easy, but it’s essential for our growth!
    Kara recently posted…Crafting with Wheels, Casters, & All things that RollMy Profile

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