About a year ago, I sat my older daughter down and we had a long history lesson. We flipped through a Life Magazine book of American History and talked about some of the more disturbing images: photographs showing the devastating effect of racism and segregation. (A very depressing but essential subject.)
Then, we spent the week learning about the civil rights movement. We watched a documentary about Rosa Parks. And finally, the unit ended with a viewing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” One of the most wonderful aspects of Youtube is that, even though its filled with a vast ocean of non-sense, there are also many islands of knowledge to be found at the click of your mouse.
I am not certain when the best age is to talk about racism and the civil rights movement. I suppose it depends on the child. But for more family, we were ready to begin exploring the subject when my daughters were 6 and 9. Now, watching Dr. King’s eloquent and inspiraton speech has become an annual tradition.
Thanks to all who have struggled (both overseas and at home) to make America the land of the free.