Parents Reflect On How Their Children Should Learn About Martin Luther King, Jr.

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Parents and their children gathered to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday in Ithaca on Monday.

They crowded into a room at the Tompkins County Public Library for storytelling, songs and dancing.

Tali Fuson’s son turns three at the end of January. She said she hoped coming to the library event would help him learn about King’s life in ways she might not have considered.

Celia Clarke/WSKG Public Radio

Tali Fuson at a celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Tompkins County Public Library. January 20, 2020 (Celia Clarke/WSKG Public Radio)

“It’s a hard topic and it’s a simple topic all at the same time,” Fuson said. “That, really, like, can’t we all just recognize each other as equal human beings and valuable and with a spirit, a whole spirit in each one of us.”

She added that the challenge, as a parent, is knowing how and when to teach her child about the injustices that still exist. Issues that King would have stood against.

Bert and Peggy Odom-Reed brought their 4-year-old son to the library event. Mr. Odom-Reed said that for now, they are teaching their son about King’s legacy by relating it to other lessons he’s learning.

“What is equality?” Odom-Reed said. “So, we talked about what is equality and relate it to fairness.”

Odom-Reed said that as his son grows up he wants him to learn more about history and have an appreciation for past events.