Some historical figures are larger than life. 50 years ago today, we lost one of these people. Martin Luther King, Jr. was taken by an assassins bullet, and thus transformed from a Civil Rights icon to a legend of the movement. Most people focus on King's work in civil rights for African Americans, but fewer people recognize the work he did in fighting poverty and protesting the Vietnam War.
In all of his work, however, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a tireless crusader against injustice. My sixth graders are currently reading a story that highlights other champions of equal rights. Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred Taylor chronicles the Logan family's fight to protect their farm against racist and bigoted forces in 1930s Mississippi. While the story is a work of fiction, there's no doubt that many oppressed peoples laid the groundwork for the movement Martin Luther King, Jr. came to embody. The truth is, though, that anybody can be a warrior for social justice. I take my inspiration for this from Mary Logan, the matriarch of the Logan family:
What changes will you refuse to accept? What will you do to realize Martin Luther King's dream? Post your ideas in the comments, or better yet, go out and start changing the world.