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Martin Luther King Jr. giving the famous I Have a Dream Speech 08-28-1963 at the Lincoln Memorial. Source: National Archives via Wikimedia Commons

Empowerment, Inspiration and Gratitude — Students Reflect on MLK


In this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day special, we hear local high school students speaking about King’s legacy, and we revisit a speech made in Bloomington last year by a celebrated Black Lives Matter organizer and Teach for America administrator.

Part 1

In the weeks leading up to this holiday, WFHB asked local high school students to respond briefly to a couple questions. We asked, “What does MLK Day mean to you? And what do you think is the value and significance of the holiday?” Thanks to English teacher Rachel Bahr, at the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship in Bloomington, for collecting these responses.

Part 2

Brittany Packnett first gained national attention in 2014 in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. At the time, she was the executive director of Teach for America in St. Louis. Just five days after Brown was killed Packnett wrote in a blog that: “I believe in non-violent civil action. I know that riots solve nothing. But I understand what Dr. King meant when he told Mike Wallace ‘a riot is the language of the unheard,’ nearly 50 years ago. And in a community long overlooked, underserved, and continually harassed by law enforcement, the pressure finally burst the proverbial pipe.”

Packnett visited Bloomington last year to speak at the city’s MLK Day event at the Buskirk Chumley Theater. We hear a clip from that speech.

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