Students celebrate Martin Luther King Day
Messages of racial harmony, living in peace and overcoming violence resonated through the halls of Dalton E. Tucker school yesterday as students celebrated the life and legacy of the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King.
Primary pupils learnt about Dr King, whose birthday falls on January 15, as part of an annual tradition at the school.
They began their day with a march from the school to a nearby supermarket, holding up placards promoting peace and unity. On arrival they recited speeches, sang songs and read poems inspired by the much revered activist and American Baptist minister, including I Have A Dream and We Shall Overcome.
The school invited former educator Judith James to speak to the children about Dr King’s life and legacy and she taught them a song. The students also wrote inspirational poems and sayings on footprints arranged around the assembly hall, and had the chance to do a “gallery walk” and read the different quotes that their peers had written.
Principal Tajuana Dean told The Royal Gazette: “It is a community affair when we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King. The children could recall events like when he was born and the types of things that he did for the world and for peace — they even mentioned that he was shot and that the reason he was shot was because the person didn’t want him to continue making peace in the world.
“At the end I asked them why they thought ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I am free at last’ was written on his headstone and one child said ‘well he is free from all the bad things in the world’.
“This day is not a holiday in Bermuda but at least it triggers thoughts about what is happening here — all the negativity and what we can do to change the world and that is what the inspirational quotes they wrote were all about — how we can change the world for the better.”
Asked why she thought it was an important tradition to continue at the school, Ms Dean added: “Well, that’s history, we must know where we come from in order to know where we are going in life and we always strive to encourage the children to be grateful for what they have learnt about life and in order for them to make changes to improve their lifestyles.”