A CLOSER LOOK: MLK Day of service 2021; local students


Camille Robinson. Photo used with permission, per BPS Communications Dir. Leslee Wright.

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday is a day to commemorate Dr. King’s life, legacy, peaceful activism, and civil disobedience.

Dr. King in his “I Have A Dream” speech said, in part, “to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

Dr. King, a minister, delivered his speech on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“I look to the day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” 

Dr. King, a sentence from his “I Have a Dream” speech. 8/1963.

Over the years, Dr. King faced threats and harassment. Fifty-three years ago, on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, he was assassinated. He was 39.

Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968) addresses a rally at a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 14, October 1963. (Photo by Frank Rockstroh/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

MLK Day is observed on the third Monday of January each year. A date close to his birth date of January 15. It’s a day to reflect on racial equality, and what people can do to further the Civil Rights leader’s dream.

MLK Day is considered a day of service … here is what students in Arkansas did for this special day.


A Bentonville student from Old High Middle School (OHMS) is the recipient of an MLK essay contest.

Camille Robinson, a sixth-grader, from OHMS, wrote about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., honoring his life and legacy, “by encouraging a school-wide initiative to convey understanding, courage, acceptance, and equality,” according to Bentonville Schools.

Her essay proposed an arts program that would allow all students to shine and stand out in their own way according to their gifts.

The essay contest was sponsored by the Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, Sam’s Club, and Walmart. Camille found out her essay was selected as the top entry via Zoom, on Monday, January 18.


Ellis is 6 years old. For him Dr. King is special because, “he changed the world and white and brown people can play together and brown people don’t have to stand up on the bus, they can sit down,” said Ellis.


“We always color people chains while watching Dr. King’s speech in its entirety.  We also try to do some service and participate in at least one community activity,” said Jessi Duncan, mom of Hannah, 4, and Isaiah, 8, along with two of her children’s friends. Due to COVID-19 they did not do a community activity, “but we’ll definitely be out and about next year,” said Jessi.

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