Educator Resources

The Genealogy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

From the Roots of a Tree: The Genealogy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Background:

Genealogy, or Family History, can be a unique way to help students make a personal connection to the events of the past. Our ancestors took part in the events of their time and those events helped shape them. Attitudes, beliefs, traditions found in families today were formed by the history through which family members lived.

The focus of this presentation is the family history of Martin Luther King, Jr. Arguably the most revered Civil Rights leader in the course of American history, Martin Luther King’s family tree consists of ancestors born in slavery, those who scraped a living from the red Georgia soil as sharecroppers, plus those who received college educations from some of the early Black colleges in Atlanta as well as others whom had other life experiences. Amazingly, many in his family tree are not much different from the ancestors of many Americans living today. That fact alone is a lesson worth learning.

Included with the presentation is supplemental material that will help the teacher explain many of the different primary sources used in finding the information about Dr. King’s family history and the historic terms found in From the Roots of a Tree.

Presentation


Refer to CaptionFrom the Roots of a Tree: The Genealogy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Presentation (39 pages)
  

Supplemental Material


Refer to CaptionFamily Tree for Martin Luther King. Jr., Supplemental Material Use with Slide Two of Presentation, From the Roots of a Tree: The Genealogy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

If a teacher finds unique and effective ways to use these documents in their classroom and would like to share them with other teachers, please contact joel.walker@nara.gov.

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