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Today, We Remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

No matter where we are, where we come from, what we look like, who we love, or what faith we practice, we can ALL lend our voices to support one another and make a positive difference in the lives of those around us. There has been so much progress made in the years between MLK’s life and now, and yet there is still so much more progress to be made. Whatever you’re doing today, I hope it’s filled with love. After all, “I have decided to stick with Love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

We read the kids this book often. I’ve written about it before, but trying to explain the whys of racism (as well as slavery and assassination) to my kids as a white mom is confronting and challenging (yes, I realize that even using the word ‘challenging’ in the subject matter is problematic). I don’t want to tell them all the horrors of the world yet, but I also want to arm them with information, empathy, and help them form a confident perspective when it comes up at school, because it will. I want them to be the first ones to shut down any negative comments in that arena if and when they do come up. How do you explain such past ignorance??? When we read that book they look at me with their 4 and 6-year-old innocent confusion, like “why would they (we)?” and I’m supposed to be the all-knowing mom. I say something about fear and ignorance, but internally I’m just like “I. Don’t. Know”.

So Dear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., my kids and I read your words. You were a modern-day prophet, and while you made human mistakes, you changed the world dramatically for the better with your words and activism.

They played this at my church and there wasn’t a dry eye. His words are indeed powerful.

Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today (and every day) my kids and I (and the EHD office) will indeed remember you.

xx

Fin Mark
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healthy

You took a meaningful risk here; I’m so impressed. Bless you.

Daniella

Wonderful post!

Rose

Beautiful tribute!

Arli

Beautifully said.

Annie

Thank-you, Emily, for this beautiful post!

Jen

Much respect for this post.

Rusty

THIS is the type of social commentary I like!
And you do it so well. Thank you 🙂

Susan

Have you read Heart and Soul: The story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson? https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Soul-America-African-Americans/dp/0061730793 It has beautiful illustrations and is very comprehensive. I found it at the library last year and went through it with my 5 yr old. The text is pretty dense so in some parts rather than reading I paraphrased and focused on the captions.

Dena

thank you for this recommendation, just put it on hold at our library.

sc

still the best speeches ever

dena

Grateful for you posting this.

Marisa

Don’t forget that he spoke extensively about the evil of capitalism, and that fighting racism requires a redistribution of wealth and a universal basic income. Let’s try to remember that when making decisions about spending large amounts on renovations this year. <3

“The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.” –Speech to SCLC Board, March 30, 1967.

Loveley of honeymoonvintage.com

Thanks for posting this. It’s nice to see “influencers” (I know, gross term) actually talk about real meaningful stuff. That’s why I follow you 🙂 And, I feel like we are on the same page about a lot of social issues. As for how to talk to your kids about it, not that you’re asking for suggestions, but if you are open to taking any, then this is what we do. I’m Indian and my husband is white, so we don’t try and sugarcoat things for them because it’s going to be their reality and they will probably feel the effects of racism at some point in their lives. We are very straightforward with our kids and put it in terms of good and bad, and my kids are only slightly older than yours. We keep it simple and leave out the horrible details, but we are honest. We don’t go the fear/ignorance route because that sounds like making excuses for those people. I mean, i get that that is part of it, but the reality is that it comes from an us vs. them mentality, which is not right, and we constantly emphasize to our kids that that kind… Read more »

Annie K

Thank you for these suggestions. I’m a white parent of two white tiny kids – 3 and almost 1 – and am loving just being honest about racism and sexism. I find it very important to not frame it as “in the past” because I was raised as If it were (hashtag white privilege). Let’s fight for each other and also educate ourselves and our babes.

Thanks, Emily!

angelica

“We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power… this means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), Report to SCLC Staff, May 1967.

angelica
Nancy

Beautiful. Thank you so much for posting this. One more reason I read your blog every day.

[…]   “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” No matter where we are, where we come from, what we look like, who we love, or what faith we practice, we can ALL lend our voices to support one another and make a positive difference in the lives of those around us. There has been so… Read More … The post Today, We Remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. appeared first on Emily Henderson. Read More […]

Jeanne

Thank you!

Kim

Thank you for this!

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Hayley

Thanks for the reminder.

You know, I never hesitate to just say, “I don’t know” to my kids when I truly just don’t know. They need to learn that it’s an acceptable thing to say. Saying “fear and ignorance” … I dunno. Doesn’t it imply that they is/was something to be afraid of? I don’t want to put that thought in their head. Ugh, this is hard, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing.

milo

Thank you!!

Would love to know more about your church (I’m not local, so not which church specifically it is), what about it appeals to you, how you found it, what role it plays in your life, etc. if you ever want to share! I also grew up with a denomination I chose to leave behind (assuming your church isn’t Mormon), and am curious how other people have dealt with both leaving one denomination and joining another. So glad you have found a place that fits you and your family for now!

Rae

Lovely and important post. Thank you. So important to honor our American heroes.

Laurel

Another really good book for your kids is “The Story of Ruby Bridges.” It’s a great kids read that describes the school integration.

[…] post Today, We Remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. appeared first on Emily […]

annie

Thank you, Emily. Dr. King’s beautiful and hopeful words still ring out in the universe. I shared this video with my young teenage grandchildren, I want them to understand how change can occur with peace.

Brittney DeFriez

I talked about racism with my 5 year old last week because of a little MLK Jr book he made in school. We talked about how people tried to keep bad laws and do bad things so they could have more than other people and feel better about themselves. We talked about how people do mean things so they can make all the rules.
I wanted him to know about systematic racism, but perhaps to also see how he can stop inequality in his own little world through his behavior.

Amber Gardner

As a once little black girl from the south side of Chicago, to now a grown black woman raising two little brown daughters in Houston, TX, I want to thank you for this tribute.

I love your blog and love design and I don’t often see myself or my culture or “my issues” reflected in the blogs/insta accounts I love from a design perspective.

So thank you again for speaking this truth and for speaking up on MLK day. And for teaching your sweet children the truth of our history and current reality in many ways. #emilyforpresident 😝🥰🙌🏾

[…] post Today, We Remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. appeared first on Emily […]

Ellen

Thank you for recognizing the day and the man.

Jaclyn DuBois

Thank you for this important post. ❤️

Sasha

Thank you for posting this instead of must-hit MLK day sales!

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