photos-medleyphoto-4364389Can you picture it? A young boy in Atlanta, wide-eyed and full of hope. Martin was part of a family, just like you and me. He was someone’s son He was someone’s student.

In honor of Dr. King’s special day, I want to remember him as a child and PLAY! Looking for a way for your family to honor his legacy today? Here are three ideas from the Alliance Theatre to get you started:

  1. READ. Pour yourself into a book on Dr. King and ask questions about the times in which he became the hero we respect today. Our favorite children’s books about Dr. King include:


The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Johnny Ray Moore, Illustrated by Amy Wummer

This board book features minimal words introducing toddlers and preschool aged children to the life of Dr. King. We love this version as it points out the opposite lives African-American and Caucasian children lived in Martin’s day. Talk with your family about some differences you see in your community between people of any background.


We March by Shane W. Evans

How incredibly simple and elegant is this book? In our current political climate, the media is saturated with stories of marching. This book chronicles the civil rights movement’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom from waking up when its still dark outside, to Dr. King’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial. This book is accessible for very young children. Talk with your family about fairness, and what a peaceful protest is.


Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, Illustrated by Bryan Collier

Winner of a Caldecott Honor, the Coretta Scott King Award, and named Best Illustrated Children’s Book 2001 by The New York Times, this book is essential in your conversations about Dr. King’s life. This book is intense, powerful and absolutely stunning with its’ use of collage. Recommended for elementary aged children.

2. SEE. On view through March 12, 2017 at the High Museum of Art, five photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life are displayed in the Greene Family Learning Gallery. Pay close attention to the photo of him with his family.


Today at the Woodruff Arts Center at 2:30 p.m., teenagers and young adults from the Palefsky Collision Project present Dear Dr. King, a reading of their work celebrating Dr. King’s life and a hopeful view of the future. Tickets are free. For more information, click here.


3. PLAY. As a boy, Martin wanted to be many things before he became the icon he is today. In a TIME article about his early years, it was said Martin wanted to be a fireman, then a doctor, then a lawyer, and finally a minister. Does this sound familiar?

With your family, discuss what they want to be when they grow up and take turns acting out these jobs for each other. Turn your sofa into a boat for future sailors. Imagine your backyard is a jungle for future explorers. Pull out old sheets and hats and get to designing the next en vogue ensemble with your future fashion designer.

You have all you need to become anything you want to be. Its located above your shoulders in that brilliant brain!