For Educators: Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Vocabulary

Anthem: An uplifting song that is identified with a particular movement, country or a group of people, or point of view.

Civil Rights: The personal rights of the individual citizen, in most countries upheld by law as in the United States. For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 established legal equality in social, economic, and political rights for all Americans.

Congressional Black Caucus: Founded in 1972, this organization represents the black members of the United States Congress. The goal of the Caucus is to influence legislative action that is pertinent to African-Americans and achieve greater equity for persons of African descent in design and content of domestic and international programs and services.

Congressional Committees: A legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty such as the Appropriation Committee that determines federal budgets and spending or the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Committee membership enables members to participate in identifying issues for legislative review, gather and evaluate information, and make recommendations for a course of action. The Committee for Postal Service and Civil Service reintroduced the Dr. King Holiday bill in 1983 seeking an approval vote; it passed and became law.

Debate: A formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body like the United States House of Representatives or the United States Senate.

Grassroot Movement: Ordinary or common people who do not necessarily hold any political office, organizing for a cause to influence or bring about lasting changes that effect political policies or lawmaking.

Legislative Branch: The branch of government that has the power of legislating or making laws.

National Holiday: A holiday that is legally established by a government to honor a person or event that has a national significant. In the United States we have ten national holidays that honor individuals like Dr. King or American Workers on Labor Day.

Nonviolent Resistance: Abstaining from physical force to resist or protest injustice and achieve goals of equality and legal protection for all.

Petitions: A formal written request made to an official person or organized body like the United States Congress

Racism: A belief, policy, or system of government that fosters discrimination or intolerance of another race.

Segregation: The practice of separate facilities and services within the same society for the use of a minority group. Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, black children in southern states attended separate schools from whites that had

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