Monday, January 21, 2008

Why Do We Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day?

I swear we've talked about Civil Rights before, in ways our kids can digest, and he knows who Rosa Parks is -- perhaps because her act was so concrete. Poor Dr. King, despite his holiday, remained a mystery here at Chez Bloom.

We told Little Bun that we would do something fun if he could tell us why he had today off from school. He could use any resource we had, or he could call someone he thought might know. Before he started researching, he offered these guesses:

"He stopped the battles of World War II."
"He helped George Washington."
"He's the person on a penny."

Think something he'd be particularly admired for by our family, he was advised.
"He wrote really important books."
"He stopped American people from battling Africans."
Warmer, we said.

He Googled.
He won a Nobel Prize (but what's a Nobel Prize?)

We watched the I Have a Dream Speech and talked again about segregation. The biggest shock each time is that our family would have been divided, at a restaurant, at a pool, in what we could and could not do, in our expectations of justice (in reality, that our family and families like ours could not have existed is something he can't yet process, nor can he process yet the idea that our expectations for justice might still be different).

So we're off to see the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, which led Miss I to her burning question of the day:

"What do vegetable pirates eat?" (and the horrific thought that perhaps it's people).

Happy MLK day.

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