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House on Mango Street

TEACHER MATERIAL #1

Note:  This material includes both a transcript of TV News Reports on M.L. King’s Birthday and a summary of the same broadcasts.  You could use either one of these in the lesson, depending on what you think will work best with your students in your time frame.

Transcript of Television News Reports on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, Birthday, 2001

PBS – The News Hour

This news report was about the frustration felt by many African Americans following the election of George W. Bush, for whom only 1 out of 10 black voters cast a ballot.  It began with the outgoing and incoming Presidents praising Martin Luther King’s vision.

President Clinton: 

“Part of Martin Luther King’s dream was somehow that we would learn to, quote, ‘work together, pray together, struggle together, go to jail together, stand up for freedom together.’ ”  

[Clinton continues] “If I could leave America with one wish as I depart office it would be that we become more the one America that we know we ought to be.”

President-Elect Bush: 

“America does not always live up to our ideals.  Many Americans still face prejudice. The hopes of too many children are frustrated by deep poverty and unequal schools.  And when this happens our whole country feels the loss of their gifts.  Our work is not finished, but our goal is not uncertain.  Dr. King defined that goal as creating the blessed community, where all are valued and all are welcome.  This is the guiding goal of our country.

Channel 5 – KPIX Local News

This story focused on a young man doing time in Juvenile Hall who won a writing contest for MLK Day. 

News anchor:  “John Sweeney wrote a poem that he wrote called ‘Disturbing the Peace.’  Jail officials allowed him to enter the poem in a contest.  The prize was to read it to thousands of people at today’s King celebration in San Francisco.”

John Sweeney: 

“You know, I’ve heard his speeches on the radio, on TV and school, and he’s just powerful. You know, he can -- it’s like the wind, it can almost knock you over.”

In fact it was Sweeney who knocked them over today, the crowd that is.  He will be released from Juvenile Hall in two months.

Channel 7 – KGO Local News

News anchor:

In the Bay Area and across the nation, of course, people paused to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., today.  Today would have been the assassinated civil rights leader’s seventy-second birthday.  One Oakland student paid tribute by reciting King’s most famous speech.

We see a Brookfield Elementary School student as he recites the speech in an auditorium:

 “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, 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 old spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’ ”

News anchor:  “Great job!  Joseph Bryant recited the speech at an Oakland union hall today.”

Channel 7 News Anchor (continues): “Now in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. King’s widow Coretta Scott King was honored at a local church.  She asked Americans to keep her husband’s dream alive by working for peace, justice and economic equality.”

“And in Washington, President Clinton spoke before students at the University of the District of Columbia.  He said that, while progress towards racial harmony has been made under his administration, more still needs to be done.”

Channel 4 – KRON Local News

News Anchor: 

“It’s Martin Luther King, Jr, Day.  Here in the Bay Area and across the country people honored his memory.  Tonight we take a look at how people are keeping his dream alive and reflecting on the words he made famous a generation ago.  It’s our ‘Sound of the Night.’ ”

An African American man around 40 years old says, “I think it’s really important for us to remember our history and know our history.”

We see Martin Luther King at the Mall in Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963:  “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.  I have a dream…”

George W. Bush:   “ ‘Intelligence plus character,’ Dr. King said, that’s the true goal of education.”

San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown:  “I think George Bush will do his best to show that he is a leader who understands the need to extend the King dream.”

Martin Luther King:  “So even though we face difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream…”

Reverend Cecil Williams leading a King Day march through San Francisco.  Someone shouts,“What do you want?”  Marchers’ respond: “Freedom!”  The leader shouts, “When do you want it?”   Response: “Now!”

A white man around 50 years old:  “It’s very important that the children know all about Martin Luther King and they know it’s a holiday for his birthday and not just a holiday.”

News Anchor:  “Martin Luther King, Jr., would have been turning 72 years old this week.”

[“Up next in sports, the Sharks and the Raiders and an upset in Bay Area high school basketball.  Gary’s got it all next.”]

Alternative to Transcript – Summary of Newscasts

·         President Clinton quoting King’s dream that one day all Americans would “work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together” and Clinton expressing his hope for “one America.”

·         President-Elect Bush acknowledges that America still has a long way to go to achieve equality.  He say the nation’s goal is the “blessed community” in which all Americans are welcomed and valued.

·         A shot of Coretta Scott King speaking at a memorial for Dr. King as the news anchor says “she asked people to continue the work for racial and economic equality.”

·          A young man who won the Martin Luther King poetry contest in San Francisco enthusiastically praising King for being such a powerful speaker. 

·         A child giving the conclusion of the “I Have a Dream” speech at an elementary school assembly:  “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, 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 old spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."

·         An excerpt of King delivering the best-known parts of the “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.   “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.  I have a dream…  So even though we face difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream…”

Teacher's Guide
Essential Questions
Summary
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Additional Projects/Activities I
Additional Projects/Activities II
Additional Projects/Activities III
Additional Projects/Activities IV
Transcript of TV Reports
Michael Eric Dyson
  Materials for Other Activities
Instructions for Essay on King's Giant Triplets
Who Killed Martin Luther King?
St. Martin, The Militant
All Things Censored
Native American Resistance
Day Of Shame
Samples Of Student Work

Urban Dreams
OUSD Curriculum Unit
Hidden In Plain Sight -
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s
Radical Vision
Subject: U.S. History
Grade Level: 11th

Lesson Plan Author:
Craig Gordon
Organization: OUSD