Upper School Students Honor MLK and Black History Month


As part of their study of Black History Month, Upper School students in Ross McLay’s Honors History class participated in Senator Chris Murphy’s 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest. Each year, Senator Murphy invites students from across Connecticut to help honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by submitting essays that reflect on Dr. King’s dream, their own aspirations, and the importance of what Dr. King means to them.

Two students presented their essays during a student-led Morning Meeting. Listen here as they share their reflections.

A Hero Without a Cape: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doris L.

Each one of us has dreams, unique and diverse in their nature, and we all share a common desire for them to come true. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., despite facing racial disadvantages, went on a relentless journey to fight for his dream, one that paved the way for people of all colors to embrace their humanity.

In 2013, my family and I came to the United States from China in pursuit of the American Dream, drawn by the promise of freedom, equality, a better education, and to foster my interests further. Dr. King played a crucial role in making this dream possible. Without his efforts, America might still be struggling with racism, and my family’s journey here may never have happened as his work helped all races further develop their family and dreams. Although I am not black, I realized his message wasn’t just for African Americans. It was about seeing humanity in everyone, no matter their race or background. He dreamed of a world where your character mattered more than your skin color. As an Asian American, I have faced racism throughout my life, and the path that Dr. King paved for humanity has created significant progress for future generations. My generation can now live with equality, less discrimination, and forge connections with all races. Something I think is so valuable today is how Dr. King solved severe problems without violence using his peaceful protests. We are in an era where violence is so normalized that we need to remember the legacy Dr. King set for us and make his work worth it. I am so grateful I live in a time in which kids of all colors can be hand in hand, as if they had no differences whatsoever.

The Eternal Dream by Bennett S.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. emerged as a prominent civil rights leader in 1960’s America, passionately advocating for equality and unity in the world. He dedicated his life to nonviolence, and even today, decades later, we continue to carefully study his life because he changed the way the world views humanity. He created a universal message that you should judge someone by their character rather than their physical attributes. In 2024, Dr. King’s legacy extends beyond the American civil rights movement, inspiring activists in pursuit of social justice, economic equality, voting rights, and so much more. He is a symbol that will never be forgotten.

Throughout my life, every time I hear Dr. King’s name, I think about his fight for equality in America but never thought about what he dealt with on a day-to-day basis. Dr. King dealt with so much adversity, like being thrown in jail twenty-nine times while fighting for his cause. Dr. King advocated so passionately for his people that he ended up laying his life on the line. Looking back and seeing how many hardships he went through, to get even a chance to express his thoughts, that realization shocked me. He taught me that if you really have a dream and believe in something, then you should be willing to fight for it. That concept works as well in 2024 as it did in the 1960’s. Trying to make a world where everyone is equal may seem extremely ambitious, that does not mean it’s not worth striving for. Dr. King’s dream of equality is still being worked on even over fifty years after his death. In the future, my hope is that the world realizes that everyone should be able to peacefully coexist with each other on more equal terms.

We Have a Winner

We are proud to announce that Doris’ essay was chosen as one of the winners in Senator Chris Murphy’s 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest. Congratulations Doris!

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