Detailed Instructions of each day: Day
1. Have students discuss which of King’s ideas they
found in the article they read for homework. See if any
students found any information about King’s ideas
that they didn’t know already.
2. Distribute Student
Handout #2, “Summing Up the Media’s
Martin Luther King Day Message,” and ask them to follow
the instructions. This should help students to categorize
those of King’s ideas publicized by the major media.
They should refer to their two-column notes about the TV
news coverage on MLK and to their notes on the newspaper
article. This activity also is meant prepare them to define
the many areas of King’s thinking they’re about
3. Students are about to get a look at many things King
said that they probably never heard before. Before we did
this in my class, I played a short excerpt of audio tape.
Writer and professor Michael Eric Dyson (author of I
May Not Get There With You/The Real Martin Luther King,
Jr.) gives a fiery speech about the truth behind the
official story on King.
His words are on Teacher
Material #2. You may read Dyson’s words to
the class or, better yet, play an audio recording for the
Since Dyson delivered speech with such passion, it would
be worth it to record the audio and play it for the class.
You will need RealPlayer, software, which can be downloaded
for free. Then you can find the program (Democracy Now,
February 1, 2000) at http://www.webactive.com/rihurl.ram?file=webactive/demnow/dn20000201.ra&start="1:00.4"
A box with RealPlayer will appear
on the screen and load the program. Slide the control near
the top of the box to the right until the time displayed
in the lower right corner reads approximately 24:10. That’s
where the words on Teacher Handout #2 begin. (If
the nearest reading you can slide it to is slightly before
that, you’ll hear a violin playing “Wade in
the Water,” as a musical pause in the Dyson speech.)
Give students Student
Handout #3, nine pages called “Beyond ‘I
Have a Dream,’ (What the media don’t quote from
Martin Luther King on his birthday).” Page nine
of the handout is the instruction sheet. I’d suggest
assigning each student one of the first seven pages for
homework, so that they jig-saw their knowledge at the next
class. (You could have them count off by sevens.) Pages
1-7 are the ones packed with more “unexpected”
ideas for students. I included page 8, because it’s
so moving and you might want to use it later.) The instruction
sheet gives students five questions to answer about the
page of quotes they read. Again, they will identify specific
ideas and separate them into those they knew already and
those they didn’t know before. This time, they are
likely to find far more ideas they had not known before
than stuff they did know. Students are also asked to identify
quotes that surprise them and something that is particularly
striking or moving.