Students will think about the importance of commemorating the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
1. Share with students the news story, A March Remembered. Tell students that this week marks the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Have students read the headline, subheadline, and first paragraph of the article.
2. Tell students that on Saturday, civil rights leaders—including King’s son, Martin Luther King III— organized a 50th anniversary march, called the Realize the Dream Rally. Ask: Why is it important to honor the anniversary of the march? Have students think about this question as they read the rest of the article.
3. After inviting students to share their thoughts, start a discussion about law professor Sheryll Cashin’s quote: “[Today] it’s seen as un-American to be discriminatory or racist. That’s a major achievement, despite the fact that we still have inequality.” Ask: According to Cashin, how have things changed for the better? In what way does our country still need to change? What can we do to fight inequality?
- Have students read a time line on the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. Use the worksheet A Peaceful Leader (PDF).
- Have students do a close reading of an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Use the worksheet A Famous Speech (PDF).
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