CDC students receive a powerful history lesson

Martin Luther King III

Martin Luther King III reads a passage from his book, "My Daddy, Martin Luther King Jr." An illustration from the book is projected to the side.

Martin Luther King III reads from his book, "My Daddy, Martin Luther King Jr."

Twenty-four students from the VCU School of Education’s Child Development Center (CDC) received a powerful lesson in history on Feb. 19 when they listened to the eldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. read from his children’s book, “My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

The CDC students were joined by approximately 1,000 students from Richmond Public Schools at the Huguenot High School auditorium to hear Martin Luther King III share a combination of poignant personal memories and historic events with the students, which provided a unique insight into what it was like growing up as the son of the slain civil rights leader.

In one passage, King explained to the students how much he and his sister wanted to go to a popular amusement park near Atlanta when they were children. Repeated requests led to repeated delays from their parents. Finally, his mother explained that they couldn’t go because the rides and the roller coasters were for white people only.

“That's how it was when I was growing up. My dad fought to change that,” King said to the students.

Illustrations from the book were projected onto a large screen as King read to the students. In addition to the powerful history lesson, students in attendance received a complimentary copy of the book.

Martin Luther King III and family with students and staff from the VCU Child Development Center

After the program, students and staff from the VCU Child Development Center posed for pictures with (in front row) King, his wife Arndrea, and their daughter Yolanda Renee.