Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Prompts #5

Here are 10 Martin Luther King Jr. Day writing prompts you can use to ring in the holiday with your classroom or your own personal journal. If you enjoyed these prompts, buy the entire collection of 1,000 Writing Prompts for Holidays on Amazon.

421. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis in 1968 after giving a speech to black street repairmen who were on strike after being mistreated. While Dr. King couldn't have known the end was near, do you think he would've been happy to know he spent his last day continuing the civil rights mission? Why or why not?

422. Even though Dr. King preached non-violence, his assassination led to riots in more than 100 cities. Why do you think people went against his message after he was gone? Was there anything that could have persuaded those who loved King to stay peaceful? Why or why not?

423. In a eulogy that Martin Luther King Jr. wrote himself, he asked that no mention of his honors and awards be made but that people talk about the things he tried his best to do. Would you rather people talked about things you've won and your trophies or the ways in which you've helped people? Why?

424. While Michigan Congressman John Conyers, Jr. proposed a law to make Dr. King's birthday a holiday in 1969, it took nearly eight years for Congress to vote on it. Imagine what it'd be like if you asked your parents for something and you had to wait eight years for them to make a decision. What might you have asked and why would they wait so long?

425. Over three million people signed a petition to make Dr. King's birthday a national holiday. Why do you think so many people supported making it a holiday? Why might some not support it?

426. Coretta Scott King, Dr. King's widow, spoke in front of Congress before their vote in 1979. Would you ever suggest that someone you know deserves a holiday? If so, who would it be and why? If not, do you think you'd ever deserve a special day to honor yourself? Why or why not?

427. Congress initially rejected the bill by five votes, stating that the United States had never given a holiday to a person who hadn't served in the government. Imagine that you had to break a long-standing tradition to do what was right. What might the tradition be and why would you have to do something different?

428. A major push for the holiday was made by singer Stevie Wonder upon releasing a song about Dr. King called "Happy Birthday." Create a song that someone might write about you. Who would write it and what kind of song would it be?

429. The holiday still faced difficulty, with one Senator coming up with a 300-page document of the bad things King was connected with during his lifetime. How might you feel if someone wrote 300 pages about why you shouldn't get something? Who might do such a thing and why?

430. The bill was signed into law in 1983 and was first observed by all 50 states in the year 2000. How might Dr. King react to such news? What would he hope could result from his holiday reaching national status and why?

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    Written by Bryan Cohen

    Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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