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Why Dr King is my hero

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement in the United States, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. His birthday is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year in the United States and observed by many more around the world. Students at The Bermuda High School recognised Martin Luther King (MLK) Day on Monday of this week in a variety of ways throughout the school.

Primary One students talked about Dr King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and made crowns with the words “I have a dream”. They discussed the need to be kind and compassionate to all people, focusing on the importance of what is inside of a person, not the colour of their skin. To illustrate this point, students looked at brown and white eggs, noting the difference in the shell made no difference to what was important — the actual egg inside.

In keeping with BHS’s Guiding Statements, Primary Three students considered the impact of their actions not just on their community, but internationally. Each student wrote out their dream for their community, their country and the world and created colourful mobiles.

Mali Smith in Year 8 was inspired to find a piece of music related to Dr King after viewing an exhibit at a music museum in Atlanta, in early December. She discovered a piece of music, Black Man, written by a white man who once marched with Dr King and taught herself to play it on the piano. Mali performed the piece during Performance Day, where once per six-day cycle, music students are given the opportunity to perform for their class.

Year 8 history students are in the middle of a module on the Civil Rights Movement in the United States before they move on to studying civil rights in Bermuda and the changing status of women. On Monday, Year 8 students were asked to share what Dr King means to them:

“To me, Martin Luther King means the reason I can go to school, be friends, play with and talk with people that have a different colour skin than me, and the reason I can live in a world that isn’t separated.” — Abigail Brewer

“Dr King means a lot to me. When I think of him, I think of a superhero because he went through all of the pain and still got up everyday and fought for our rights, so that one day the world will be equal.” — Z’ari Lee

“Martin Luther King means freedom, justice and equality. He means future friendships, neighbours and school mates. He means, to me, love, kindness and respect.” — Thea Todd

“I feel like some people don’t realise what MLK did for people. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would be where I am today. He is important and to me, I don’t think I would have the friends I did, if it wasn’t for him.” — Bella Clementino

“To me, Martin Luther King is a symbol that the human race is not lost, only misguided, and that as long as there are people like him, one day there will be no racism or sexism, only tolerance and happiness.” — Erin J

“MLK means to me a great deal because without his never ending love for freedom, I wouldn’t go to BHS right now and have the freedom I have.” — Nijé Hypolite

“MLK means freedom around America and around the world. He is the equality for Blacks and Whites. He is the white man and the black man holding hands, united!” — Lacy Sidders

“To me, Martin Luther King kept people of all ages in mind (including his “four little children”) and every single place in America when he spoke about freedom and made sure that no one in the USA had an excuse not to accept freedom because their religion or race or state was not counted.” — Katie Grange

“Martin Luther King means a lot to me because we would have still been taught in segregated schools if he hadn’t stood up.” — Iannah Caines

“MLK is my hero because if he wasn’t that brave and that strong to stand up for our rights, then we wouldn’t have a good education or be able to go places where white people can go. He is amazing for everything he has done.” — Rylie Lodge

“To me, Dr Martin Luther King Jr means courage. Standing up for what is right and saying what others are too afraid to. MLK fights for a nation, and is in it to help everyone. MLK means bravery.” — Sarah Skinner