Monday, January 15, 2018

A Speech for Today

It’s MLK Day here in The States so today I’ve chosen to feature another beautiful book by Kadir Nelson. You’ll likely recognize the text from MLK’s remarkable speech.
Picture Book: I Have a Dream
Author: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Summary: The text of this picture book is the last portion of Dr. King’s speech given in Washington DC on August 28, 1963. A few of the darker passages have been left out. Here are some of the passages that are familiar and most loved by me. 
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. 
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and he sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. 
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. 
I have a dream that one day... little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. 
With this faith we will be able to work together, pray together, struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. 
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country, 'tis of thee... And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. 
Let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire... from the curvaceous slopes of California. 
But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain in Georgia...Lookout Mountain in Tennesee...Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississsippi. 
From every mountainside, let freedom ring. 
... we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the Negro spiritual: 
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.
Hanna’s Comments: The full text of Dr. King's speech is in the back of this book. If your faith family isn't spending time learning about the scriptural foundations of doing social justice, ask yourself why. Stories of God's desires for justice abound in our holy scriptures. Jesus had a habit of stepping over social barriers to talk with those who were marginalized. In the present political climate, we need to be teaching our children what faithful justice work looks like, encouraging our teens to find their vocations in such work, and exhorting our adults to step out of their comfort zones when human rights are being threatened or pushed aside. At the very least, all should be taught how to be intolerant of hatred and racism. Such positions are not love and therefore not scriptural. Whoever does not love, does not know God because God is love. 1 John 4:8.
Original Publisher & Date: Schwartz, 2012
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet, A cd comes with this book. You can watch the speech on Youtube [here].
Scripture Connections: This portion of Dr. King’s speech has Isaiah 40:4-5a as a part of the text. Connect it with any scripture about inclusion or social justice issues such as "What does The Lord require of us but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God." Micah 6:8 and 1 John 4:8 (see above) as well as Bible stories where the marginalized are included.
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children in your faith family when giving a lesson on God’s love for diversity or God's requirement that we do justice. 

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