Monday, January 21, 2008


I talked about his life as a preacher, and where he was when he gave the famous "I Have a Dream" speech; where he was standing when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee; and that he planned to lead a protest march for equal wages and equal rights for sanitation workers the evening he was shot. My son brought up Rosa Parks, whom he learned about last year, and so we talked about the bus strike. I told him Rosa Parks was the spark and Martin Luther King, Jr., went to lead that protest too.

I explained the definition of activist and wrote it on the chalkboard.

I explained the definition of philanderer and wrote it on the chalkboard.

Then we discussed that MLK was a political and social activist and he was a philanderer. He hurt his wife and children deeply and caused them shame and anguish and pain. But he was also an agent of change. He was charismatic, a leader, a motivational speaker, a believer in God. He was a plagiarist, a womanizer, a sinner. He was all of these. The question was, is, did the bad he did as a husband negate the good he did as an American?

I taught that people aren't perfect. My goal is to teach him to exercise discernment. I don't want him to blindly place people on a pedestal. Life is more complex than that. My objectives include teaching him about famous people and their accomplishments and imperfections. I want to develop a critical thinker.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, Washington, D.C., August 28th, 1963 at YouTube, 4 min. and 43 seconds.