I enjoy celebrating this holiday. If you call my home I will greet you with Happy MLK Day. Yes, I love history. In my home this is Family Appreciation Day.
I pull out the family albums and quilts starting with my great-great-great grandmother quilt. I take the time to explain the meaning of all the symbols. I share other family heirlooms in my family chest which have been past down for generation to generation. You have to pull the stuff out so the children know why certain things are important to the family. Let them look at it and touch them and appreciate it so when they are older they will not throw it away.
Oral History is not a lost art form in my family. By the age
of 10 the children have to be able to be the storyteller. My children understand that their blessing is a result of had work, pain and tears of our ancestors. It is their job to fulfill the dream and make a difference in the world. From Slavery to the Civil Rights Movement this was my family "Holocaust."
We had several family members who were lynched and killed for just being black at the wrong place. Many of my elders can still take you to the spot and point out the exact trees and places where bad things happened to our relatives. Its a sin not to let the next generation understand that their choices will impact the future. I teach my children that life is difficult, unperdictable and is often not fair. But the Grace of God is sufficient.
We use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to talk to the children about their Christian walk. We discuss the importance of being a WILLING vessel for the Lord. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a praying man. If you ever read his other speeches or listen to any of his sermons you would understand that this man had a deep relationship with God. I explain to my children that you do not just get a relationship like that without surrendering your WILL for your life.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is one of the most influential visionaries in American (and world) history because he listened to the voice of God and was WILLING to let him order his steps. We close the day listening to Dr. King's I Have A Dream Speech.
READER: Its your turn, In your life what is the Lord telling you to do have you been an open and willing vessel? or are you just making excuse and complaining about what others need and should do? The Lord is still using people in our generation. He needs a few Christians to stand up and let him use them.
IDEAS OF ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES TO MAKE THIS DAY SPECIAL:
*Participate in a Service Project in your community.
*Clean your house and bag up this that can be donated. Let your child know that their donation will help others in the community.
*Study the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.Use age approciate material such as coloring pages for preschoolers.
*Put on plays about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. after you read a story of his life.
*Make signs and paint pictures that tell what Martin's dream means to them. Have your child write about their personal dreams for the future.
*Car headlights are turned on at noon or pray as a family at noon about your family.
*Fly the American flag
*Watch a video like "Our Friend Martin" with your children. Its one of the best presentation I have seen appropriate for children.
*Send a gift to missionaries or mission oversea.
*Think of ways that we can live Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of peace, how are you and your family members relating to people of other races?