things you can do today.

January 20, 2020

Four things to do today to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

+ Explore the 1619 Project, an ongoing project designed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first ship carrying enslaved people from West Africa landing in the English Colonies of North America. The multimedia New York Times project spearheaded by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones uses a combination of essays, short-fiction, photo journalism, and interactive features to interrogate the idea that “no aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed.” (For educators, The 1619 Project Curriculum might prove especially helpful.)

+ Listen to the first episode of Scene on Radio’s Fourth Season: The Land That Never Has Been Yet, where host John Biewen once again teams up with collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika, this time to explore democracy in America. As the 1619 Project has done, Biewen explains that this season’s podcast will “complicate, maybe upend, our listeners’ understanding of American history.”

+ Talk frankly to kids. The Conscious Kid remains one of my favorite non-profits focused on educating kids (their parents, educators, and caregivers) honestly and candidly about race. In 2019 they launched a Patreon Page where subscribers have access to in-depth essays, research, book lists, and other resources related to the subject. Here’s a list of their recommended children’s books Honoring the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You can also follow their work on Instagram.

+ Donate to Higher Heights for America, a nonprofit dedicated to “providing Black women with a political home exclusively dedicated to harnessing their power to expand Black women’s elected representation and voting participation, and advance progressive policies.”

More ideas here and here.

PS. Image above from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. Please read the full letter here.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Julie January 20, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    I appreciate this so much, Erin. I teach 4th & 5th graders & was looking for thoughtful resources on 1619 and the history of racism. With gratitude, Julie

    0
  • Reply Lucia January 20, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    Appreciate the call to actions, so very much. Thank you.

    0
  • Reply Gigi January 20, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you for these resources, Erin! My boyfriend sent me a quote from Dr King when I was at work today: “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”

    This led me to other inspiring quotes from Dr King, including:

    “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

    And:

    “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” This second one reminds me of why I enjoy your blog! It reminds me that I can still shift the energy around my existence toward the light, even though I am only one of multitudes.

    1
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