Irene Latham is also celebrating Martin Luther King Day with three wonderful poems, as she hosts the Poetry Friday roundup at Live Your Poem. Thanks, Irene!
At my school, in addition to students studying individual unit topics, each class wings its way through the year investigating a class unit topic. The class I am now teaching is studying power this year. When I started teaching this group, they had already examined energy power. Lately, I have moved them into more abstract examinations of power, like the analysis of power in fairy tales.
This week, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, we've read articles and some poems about the lasting power of Dr. King's I Have A Dream speech, now fifty-two years ago. Thursday, we held a final discussion of our ideas of why the speech is still powerful in our lives. I discovered an article by Nikki Giovanni written two years ago after the fiftieth anniversary. It seemed to be a favorite of the students. I was pleased that when we made our list of reasons this speech and the day continued to be an important part of our lives, the power of words in the speech was brought up more than once, along with this poem by Nikki Giovanni. It is a remembrance of the anniversary.
I was home
in Lincoln Heights
Named for Abraham
As many other small black
The article and the rest of the poem can be found here. These students are learning more and more about Dr. King, and the power of words, yet more real in their lives are the heartbreaking events of Michael Brown's death and the events at Ferguson. Sadly, these are their times, will be their memories. I hope those memories will be replaced by the power of love spoken about by Martin Luther King: ""Love is the only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend."