On October 26, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. surprised students of Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia as he made a pitstop to talk with them about their life’s blueprint.
He gave this speech six months before his untimely death. In my estimation, this speech affected America profoundly as it exposed racial injustice in the American education system. To understand the breadth and depth of the impact this single 20-minute speech has had, you need to understand why it was pivotal to students. Tensions had been brewing for some time in Philadelphia due to the lack of diversity in the city’s employment. Students complained that their teachers were insensitive, and they noticed a lack of diversity and inequality on the school board and in the school system as well.
In this episode, I will explore the impact of Dr. King’s greatness on students and teachers. I also examine why Dr. King spoke to these students and what the lasting impressions of this talk have been on students. Lastly, I discuss why it’s important to assist students with discovering who they will become. This is the final podcast episode in a series of three that looks at what educators can do better when teaching Black history.
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