Learning the Struggles of Martin Luther King Jr.

civil rights

It’s important to educate children about civil rights movements and social justice. 

Many times, kids learn a bit about what MLK did for civil rights and why he is important, but they are rarely taught about the struggles he endured. 

Here is some helpful information about the struggle of MLK. 


To fight against racial injustice, Martin Luther King Jr. had to break “laws” at the time. During the era of the Civil Rights Movement, there were unfair laws for people of color. MLK and other activists faced legal obstacles they had to break laws to fight for their rights. Throughout his mission for equality, MLK was arrested over 20 times for protesting. 

Violent Attacks 

MLK also dealt with violet attacks. He received death threats and a bomb was thrown at his home. His home was set on fire and he was even stabbed. Many people opposed his mission for equality and civil rights, and they reacted with violence toward King. 


MLK did not only face resistance from white people, but he also did from people in his own race. Some people in his own race were opposed to his nonviolent approach and resisted his efforts as well. This only made his efforts more difficult and hard to implement. 


Ultimately, MLK faced assassination. His assassination represented the resistance and hatred his civil rights movement was met with. Ultimately, MLK paid the ultimate price for his fight for equality, and that was his life. 

MLK was fatally shot on April 4th, 1968 while standing on the balcony of his hotel room. He was in Memphis to support a worker’s strike and was heading to dinner when the bullet hit him in the jaw. He was pronounced dead upon arriving at a Memphis hospital and passed away at age 39. 

While the details of the struggles that MLK faced may not be appropriate for kids of all ages, it is important to teach them of the many serious challenges he faced. As your kids develop, you can unveil more details about MLK’s battle for civil rights. 

Celebrating MLK day is not only about recognizing MLK for all of his incredible work and pursuit for justice, but it is also about understanding his obstacles and the difficulties he faced during the Civil Rights Movement. There are many resources out there to help you teach your kids about MLK, including books, movies, websites, and more.


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