Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Friend Martin

Today our school watched this movie, Our Friend Martin, in honor or MLK day yesterday. Watch the trailer and then read the story below about how this movie impacted a student in my class.

This movie, while animated, shows students a very realistic picture of what life was like years ago for African Americans in our country. Throughout the animation there are news clips from the past that show actual depictions of civil rights rallies, and the mistreatment of blacks in the south.

The plot of the movie is centered around 2 6th grade student, (one white, one black) who travel back through time to explore the life of MLK. They meet him as a young man, young adult, grown up, and through his assassination. Their journey starts all because of their white teacher assigned them a project to learn about the life of Dr. King. Like any normal 6th graders, they were not excited about it, but that quickly changed as they started to learn the history of his life.

At one point during the movie the students travel back to an altered present day to see what it would be like if MLK had not fought for civil rights. When they arrived to time, their white teacher was in the same room, at the same school, yet she was no longer allowed to be their teacher because she was white. Her classroom was full of white kids and all of the black students were at another school. Needless to say the 6th graders were shocked and hurt at what they found in this altered world.

At this point during the movie one of my African American students came running to me in tears and hugged me tightly. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that the movie was making him sad. I told him that it was ok to cry, but the movie should remind us how thankful we should be for all that MLK did for us to live together... He looked at me with tears streaming down his face and said... " I am thankful for MLK so you could be my teacher."

Needless to say I became an instant, blubbering mess, and am moved to tears again even as I type this. It was one of those moments in teaching that I will NEVER forget. All I could say back to him was how thankful I was to be his teacher!


Karen said...


I love this post!!! I don't know if you know, but I am homeschooling and we have been talking about MLK today! I told Olivia stories from my childhood (I remember when black children first started coming to "white" schools). What a precious story you have to tell about your sweet little student! You are doing a great job!!!

orangegigi said...

As I read this I became bubbering mess. I am so glad God has placed you where you are for such a times as this and for this student...