What if?


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What if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today? You probably know lots about Dr. King. He was a black civil rights leader who was born in 1929 and died in 1968. He was only 39 years old when he died. His birthday is celebrated each year as a tribute to his ideas on equal rights and nonviolence.

A lot has changed since the days of King’s peaceful protests, but the world still needs equality and peace. Think about how Martin Luther King Jr. might affect our society if he were alive today. Read the questions on the right. Choose three to answer in short paragraphs. Write your paragraphs on another sheet of paper.

  1. If Dr. King were alive today, what three main problems in our society do you think he would be trying to solve?
  2. Why not?
  3. Which groups of people would Dr. King most likely be helping with equal rights today?
  4. In his lifetime, Dr. King received many honorary university degrees. He was also chosen as Time magazine’s Man of the Year for 1963. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Dr. King was a minister, a speaker, and a respected civil rights leader. If he were teaching in a university today, what subjects do you think he might be teaching? Why?
  5. If Dr. King were alive today, he would be happy with the progress made in some civil rights areas. Finish this paragraph starter, spoken by Dr. King: “I am so glad that…”
  6. If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, do you think we would be celebrating his birthday this year? Why or why not?
  7. Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, DC, in 1963. If he gave a speech today with the same title, what would it include? Write the opening paragraph of the speech.