As the MLK holiday approaches, your kids are likely out of school. Here are some great educational titles about Martin Luther King, Jr. that you can watch on your day off. He was a very important figure in the civil rights movement.
Due to the nature of the content that might be included in any movie about MLK or civil rights, there aren’t many that would be considered kid-friendly across the board. Families can expect to hear many uses of the “N” word and other racial slurs.
Issues Martin Luther King. Jr. Tackled
- voter rights
- civil rights
MLK Movies for Kids
At the time of his assassination in 196, his four children were 5, 7, 11 and 13.
Whether you have an African-American family, White family or are from another country, these are great educational titles to learn about the events that changed American history.
This animated special, inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., posits the question of what the 20th century, particularly the 1990s, would have been like if the famed Civil Rights leader had lived.
Eleven-year-old Sheyann Webb becomes an instrument of change in 1965 Alabama in this riveting and sometimes heartbreaking drama based on real events concerning a dark segment of American history: segregation. As the Rev. Martin Luther King sweeps through the countryside trying to register voters (including African-American women), Sheyann finds out just how oppressed her community (including her family members) truly is.
Common Sense Media recommends this movie for kids 13+. Check out their review.
- Families can talk about why Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most influential people of the 20th century. What is the lasting legacy of the civil rights movement? How have things changed since 1965 when Selma takes place? How haven’t they?
- How do the lessons from the civil rights movement apply today? Are people still discriminated against? How can that be remedied? What methods could kids today use to protest injustice? What are the differences between a protest and a riot? How does the media typically depict protests?
- How does Selma promote courage and integrity? What about self-control and perseverance? Why are these important character strengths?
- Why are voters’ rights still in the news?
- Are you interested in learning more about civil rights and how they’re still being fought for in the United States? How could you do that?
- Some have criticized Selma for bending the truth in the way certain figures in the movie are portrayed — particularly President Johnson. Why might filmmakers not adhere strictly to the facts? Do you think that undermines the movie’s message in any way? How could you find out more about the actual events and people portrayed in the film?
Short Movies about MLK for Kids
This kid-friendly video on the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. uses animation, music, and narration to share Martin’s vision for the world and his powerful legacy of non-violence and equality for all people.
A Kid Explains History
Scholastic Storybook Treasures – March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World
MLK Day Legacy: Ruby Bridges
Civil rights leader Ruby Bridges remembers integrating the New Orleans school system in 1960 and the lessons of racial justice that her teacher and Dr. King taught. She urges Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy of service by volunteering on MLK Day.
Keep the learning going: