The Patrick Henry Post

Special Edition: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (1.17.2022)

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Celebrating the Life, Legacy, and Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 17th is a day off from school in order to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The third Monday of January is always marked as a celebration of Dr. King's incredible contributions to the world. Read below to see how our students have spent this school year honoring Dr. King's life, legacy, and lessons.

Dr. King's Life - What can we learn and what can we emulate?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his life working hard to get an education and fight for the civil rights of black Americans. Though his focus was on the black American experience, Dr. King Jr. fought for civil rights legislation that impacted all people - the 1964 Civil Rights Act banned all racial discrimination and segregation and forever changed American life.

Throughout Dr. King Jr's life, he accomplished many things that our students strive for on a daily basis. From an early age, he worked incredibly hard in school. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't always "Doctor King" - he had to complete his education and go all the way through elementary, middle school, high school, college, and graduate school! Young Martin did not really have much of a choice - his mother was a school teacher and she taught him to read even before he went to elementary school. Eventually, a teenaged Martin went to college at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he read everything he could find about civil rights, civil disobedience, and protesting. He studied famous writers and thinkers who inspired his own thoughts about his life and his experiences in America. He also began writing his own works, and learned the skills he would one day use to inspire millions of people all over the world.

When I think about how to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life here at Patrick Henry, I think about the work we each do every day to learn, grow, and develop our skills. We are not just learning for the sake of learning - we are learning so that we can be the next Dr. King Jr! We are growing into great thinkers, kind people, brilliant writers, talented artists, skilled musicians, and of course excellent educators. Our students are the next generation of black Americans who will continue their education long after they leave Patrick Henry. We are so excited to see what they decide to do with their knowledge and skills, because we know that we have empathetic, smart, and passionate students who will grow up to be people who impact the world for the better. When I think about how to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life, I think we must continue reading, continue growing, and continue building our skill set so that we too can change the world.

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Dr. King's Legacy and Lessons

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not just study hard and become famous - he truly changed an entire country and the world with his powerful words, his incredible actions, and his fierce passion for fighting for what is right. He left an important thing behind known as a LEGACY.

If you look up the word "legacy" in the dictionary, you might find a definition that says a legacy is property, money, or a gift that a person leaves behind for someone else when they die. But a legacy means much more than that. A legacy is something powerful you leave behind for generations after you to learn from. Sometimes it is a lesson. People like Gandhi and Buddha left moral legacies of how to be a kind and generous person. People like Michael Jordan are still alive but have already left a legacy in their chosen field - MJ retired from basketball and left the legacy of how to always strive for ever more greatness even when you are already great.

Dr. King, Jr. left us many legacies and lessons that inspire our work as educators every day. Young Martin taught us how education can shape your entire future and give you tools, knowledge, skills, and connections with others pursuing the same dream. Adult Dr. King, Jr. taught us again and again how to love people regardless of their race and background. Ultimately, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. left us such an important legacy that we still celebrate him every year. As we approach Black History Month, it is Dr. King, Jr.'s words that will ring out over and over again, still inspiring us to fight for all people to be free.

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50 years on, Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy lives out loud