Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is 12 days away and I wanted to share my thoughts along with the linked curriculum from Ancestors' Seeds that we will be using at Gather Forest School . So let’s get to it and answer the question, Why is it important to humanize Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.?
1. Relatability: By humanizing Dr. King, we make him relatable to people from diverse backgrounds. When individuals can see themselves in a historical figure, it becomes easier to connect with their experiences, struggles, and triumphs. This relatability helps to bridge gaps and foster empathy, allowing people to understand and appreciate his message of equality and justice.
2. Challenge Stereotypes: Humanizing Dr. King challenges any stereotypes or misconceptions that may exist about him. It allows us to see him as a multifaceted individual with personal struggles, doubts, and vulnerabilities. By dispelling stereotypes, we can better understand the complexities of his life and the societal context in which he operated.
3. Inspire and Motivate: Humanizing Dr. King's story can be a powerful source of inspiration and motivation. When people realize that he was an ordinary person who faced adversity, it becomes evident that anyone can make a difference. It encourages individuals to pursue their activism, advocate for justice, and fight against discrimination.
4. Authenticity and Truth: By humanizing Dr. King, we emphasize the importance of truth and authenticity in historical narratives. It is crucial to understand that Dr. King was a real person with strengths and flaws, as opposed to an idealized or mythologized figure. Acknowledging the truth of his humanity allows for a deeper appreciation of his accomplishments and the challenges he encountered.
5. Connect Past and Present: Humanizing Dr. King helps to bridge the gap between the past and the present. It highlights the relevance of his teachings and the ongoing struggle for civil rights and social justice. By understanding his humanity, we can better apply his principles to contemporary issues and continue the work he started.
I highly suggest taking a deeper dive beyond the “peace” talk about Dr. Rev. MLK and expand the conversation. You will find that you need more than a month to fully immerse yourself in Dr. Rev MLK, Jr.‘s work. Here are the activity links if you want to follow along with our students: