Thursday, January 17, 2013

5 Ways to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

Everyone's excited for a day off on Monday, right?! It's so nice to have a free day in the middle of the January blahs!! Here are a few ideas to keep Martin Luther King Jr. in mind who we honor this day. Or use the ideas next month as we celebrate Abraham Lincoln and African American history.

1. Embroider Sarah Jane's "On Parade" pattern and make it into a wall hanging, pillow or quilt.

I fell in love with this "On Parade" embroidery pattern by Sarah Jane. It can be purchased at specialty fabric stores, or quilt shops, or on Sarah Jane's web site. (I am not advertising for her, I really truly LOVE her style.)

The kids on parade are several different nationalities. I love how they are celebrating together. It reminds me of the quote by Martin Luther King Jr.... "I have a dream that one day little black boys and little black girls...will be able to join hands with little white boys and little white girls as sisters and brothers." 

 I'm going to hang this wall quilt that I made in my children's playroom on Martin Luther King day as a reminder to be kind, dream big, and stand for freedom and rights, as he did.

2. Make arts and crafts
Many slaves made quilts to tell stories or pass along a secret message though the Underground Railroad. African American art such as ceramics, small drums, wrought-iron figures, basket weaving, and painting have made a major contribution to art of the United States 

The Crafty Crow has a great list of arts and crafts to celebrate Martin Luther King day. Find them HERE.I love this dove made by fingerprints, symbolizing peace.

3.  Quiz Family and Friends

Find the answers at the end of this post. Print this and complete it as a family at dinner time... or some time.

4. Take a Stand for Something You Believe in
Thankfully prejudice and lack of freedom for African Americans is not a huge problem in the United States anymore.  However, there are many other local, national, and global issues which need attention. Many times we don't do anything because we believe that our small part can't make a difference. What would be a better way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. or Abraham Lincoln than to do even your small part to make a difference?

One Idea:

 Did you know that in Afghanistan child marriage is still very common? Girls are pulled out of school for marriages arranged by their families. The girls often have no say in the matter. Her husband's family puts her to work and often punishes her if she does not quickly give birth to a boy. The girls are isolated and powerless. Even though the law now has set a minimum marriage age 16, many families don't want to keep girls in their homes after age 15.  This is because of poverty, tradition, or thinking that it is an easy way to feed their children. (See Central Asia Institute's Journey of Hope Volume VI pgs. 17-18).

 Read more about it in Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, and Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy.

 Several groups are combating this, and truly making a difference:

Women for Afghan Women
158-24 73rd Ave.
Fresh Meadows, NY 11366

Central Asia Institute
P.O. Box 7209
Bozeman, MT 59771   

 Remember that women in the USA were not able to vote until 1920. Here's a way to help other women and girls gain rights. 

5."Live the dream" by doing 100 acts of kindness
 Read Write Think made an awesome chart to make and record 100 acts of kindness. Find the chart HERE. Read more about it HERE.

Some of my greatest heroes are Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. They peacefully worked so hard for peace, equal rights, and freedom for all Americans. Neither of them were able to see a whole lot of results of their work while they were alive, but I am so thankful for what they stood for, and fought for, and how their  influence continues in the world today.

~ Nancy

Answers to the quiz: 1.2. 1865  3. 5  4. 13, 14, 15  5.  Legislation passed by Southern states at the end of the Civil War to control the labor, migration and other activities of newly-freed slaves. This kept most of them in poverty.  6. Newly freed slaves who didn't have money to buy land made deals with landowners to plan crops on their land, and give part of harvest as payment. Many landowners cheated sharecroppers and kept them in poverty.  7. 1954  8. Thurgood Marshall  9. Bus Boycott, Nobel Peace Prize 10.2008

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  1. Thanks for the really great ideas! I love that wall hanging, and was looking for a cute pattern for something similar and you have given me the inspiration I needed! Thanks for the info on ways to help other countries too.

  2. Dream BIG & Dream together. These words have taken me grounded and I never would of thought we’d be. Dreaming together & big has us breathing success as a couple, with a big beautiful family, unbelievable home, and successful business. One of the reasons my blog is called “In R Dream” LOVE THIS POST!


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