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Students reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Local elementary students were asked to answer the question: “How has Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream benefited me?” Here are some of the winning entries, which were shared at the Hefner VA Medical Center chapel on Jan. 11.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream benefits me by making my world nicer. I love it when I meet people who look different from me. One gave me a new dog to make my life happy. He was a great leader, too.

— Sydney Smith

First grade, Woodleaf Elementary School

Dr. King’s dream benefits me because it gives me and all American children my age a chance to be their best. One of my favorite books is “Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti,” by Gerald McDermott. In this story, Anansi has six sons and they all have different talents that are of their names. The sons are Trouble Seer, Road Builder, River Drinker, Animal Skinner, Rock Thrower and Ground Pillow, who when they come together and show their talents, are able to save their father.

Since Dr. King’s dream of equality and opportunity is for everybody, it not only allows me to show what I can do, but it allows my friends to show what they can do too. Most of all, we have a chance to come together and make or save our country, just like Anansi’s sons saved their father.

— Seven-Hazel Boone

Third grade, Overton Elementary School

Mr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Ga. In his time, African-American people did not have the same rights as others. They couldn’t dine at certain places, drink from certain water fountains, or even use the same restrooms as white people. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was little he always played with two boys who happened to be white. Then he was told by their father they could no longer play together. He was devastated. Then Martin Luther King thought of his famous speech.

His dream has let me have all kinds of friends. I can play with people of all colors. We can eat together in the same restaurant, and use the same restroom. I’m so glad that everyone is treated equally. I would be very sad if I couldn’t play with my friends or my cousins just because of their skin color. I’m so glad Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream for all of us to be equal.

— Addison Fowler

Third grade, Bostian Elementary School

I believe that Dr. King’s dream benefits me by making me a better person because it gives me hope and makes me want to help people.

There was a time when boys and girls could not play together because they had different skin colors. I believe that everyone is important and that God made us all. Therefore, we all should be able to play with who we want to play with. We are all different, but yet we are alike. This is why his dream is so important. I am hopeful after reading his speech and have a better understanding of his dream that we will continue to make things better.

Dr. King’s dream makes me a better person because it makes me want to help those who are being treated badly and it gives me hope because I have seen how far we have come and I have seen that it can get better.

— Hunter Gibson

Fifth grade, North Hills Christian School

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American activist and a Baptist minister. He was also a civil rights leader. He has helped us by showing U.S. leaders that diversity is not wrong. If he had not done this then my grandmother and grandfather would have been executed because my grandfather was African-American. My mother and stepfather would have been executed as well. Dr. King tried to teach nonviolence as a way of living as well as diversity because of his Christian qualities and the fact that he was a great leader and respected by many. He tried to encourage equality in both American and African American homes. He tried to discourage school dropouts, family break-ups, riots, criminal acts and things of that nature. He represented a law of settlement of unpaid labor that would benefit the disadvantages of all races and because of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Christian life values we have a brighter outlook for tomorrow. We as American citizens should take heed to his advice of equality among races.

— Whitney Elizabeth Sparks

Fifth grade, Woodleaf Elementary School

What does a man living 50 years ago like Dr. King have to do with me? Well a bunch. Dr. King’s dream benefits me a lot. If it wasn’t for Dr. King, I wouldn’t be here because of racism back then. If racism was still happening I wouldn’t be able to do things that white people do because I am an African-American. Some of the things that I wouldn’t be able to do is come to school here at Cleveland Elementary.

I wouldn’t be able to play sports or be on some of things at Cleveland like student council or Character Ed. The reason why I wouldn’t be able to come this school is because I am an African-American. Back then African-Americans like me had to go to separate schools. I wouldn’t be able to have a lot of things if it wasn’t for Dr. King. Some others like me would be in the same situation.

I wouldn’t be able to play sports like I do now. Now these days I can because things have changed a lot. I wouldn’t get attention back then because of my skin color. If these things were still happening, then next year I wouldn’t be able to play with my friends or ever see them.

I love Student Council and Character Ed. Those are basically my jobs as a student. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now. That’s why I set high goals for myself so I can see my hard work pay off just like Dr. King.

— William Givens

Fifth grade, Cleveland Elementary

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