In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sweet Honey in the Rock presents a 3:00pm and an 8:00pm show on Sunday, January 17, 2021. Both shows are being live-streamed from the Lincoln Theater in Washington. Neither show is free, but you can buy a ticket for a small fee and show it on your Smart TV or your computer or cell phone to anyone gathered where you are-family, friends, or SS class! In addition, you can watch it again for the rest of the week!All details are at

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one week away, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) invites you to celebrate with us.

The People’s Holiday
Monday, January 18 ǀ 4 p.m. Eastern
Free ǀ Online

The People’s Holiday is NMAAHC’s annual program honoring Dr. King’s commitment to racial equality, justice, and service.This year, we are proud to present six-time Grammy Award-winning bassist, composer, and educator Christian McBride in a digital performance inspired by his social justice-focused album The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons.Join us online for a 45-minute performance of jazz and poetry, which also features students from the Julliard School and award-winning poet Evie Shockley. The program will conclude with a conversation between Christian McBride and NMAAHC Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs Dwandalyn Reece. The People’s Holiday is generously supported by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.

Kids’ Activities Celebrating Dr. King 
Monday, January 18
Free ǀ Online
Beginning on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, hop over to our NMAAHC early childhood education webpage to pick out a MLK-inspired art project for your child. While you’re there, check out our guide to children’s books and resources that support discussions about race at home.

Joyful Activity Booklets

Martin Luther King Jr. Day also marks the launch of a new series of publications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers: Joyful Activity Booklets. Inspired by A Is for All the Things You Are: A Joyful ABC Book, written by NMAAHC’s Anna Hindley and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo, Joyful Activity Booklets help young children develop literacy skills and a positive sense of self. On January 18th, check out our NMAAHC early childhood education webpage to find our first two booklets, A Is for Amazing and B Is for Brave. Each month, children, caregivers, and educators can explore new booklets together!We hope you will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with us! You can take your commitment to Dr. King’s dream to the next level when you join as a Member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.Images: Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., freedom singing, SCLC Convention, 1962, by James H. Karales, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Monica Karales and the Estate of James Karales © Estate of James Karales, 2015.129.14. Evie Shockley and Christian McBride. Photo of child by Jaclyn Nash / NMAAHC.

1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560
(844) 750-3012 |
© 2021 Smithsonian Institution

We invite you to observe this day while remaining safe at home by viewing this panel discussion, “In the Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘Where are we and Where Do We Go from Here?’ “
The Moderator is Roxanne Bowen, WSCC Coordinator of Multicultural Engagement/Counselor/Special Assistant to the President for Diversity.
Panel Guests are William Isom, East Tennessee PBS; Dr. Christy Miller Cowan, Asst. Professor of Psychology at LMU; (Rev.) Brandon Moore, Choral Music Director at Morristown East High School and Director of Youth Ministries at Trinity UMC; Keisha Griffin Monroe, Citizen Tribune and Organizer of the 2020/2021 Juneteenth Celebration; and the Rev. Johnny Jones, Senior Pastor of Toney’s Chapel Baptist Church, Morristown.
Be sure to allow time on Monday to listen and watch this thoughtful and important reflection.

We are now accepting donations for the 2021 George Floyd & Brianna Taylor Scholarship Fund and/or 2021 Juneteenth Celebration.

If making a donation please indicate where you wish your donation to be applied in the memo line and mail your check to:

230 Montrose Ave. Morristown TN, 37813
For more information Contact Us.
Any Donation Is Appreciated

Music • MLK Essay Contest Winners • Prizes • Community Award Winners 

Keynote Speaker: Renee Kessler,  Executive Director of Beck Culture Center, Knoxville, TN 

Time : Doors open at 7:00 am, Breakfast Program starts at 7:30 am. 

Place: First United Methodist Church, Morristown, TN

Ticket Price: $15.00 ($10.00 for students and Veterans)   Tickets can be bought at the door.

Download Essay Prompts Grades K-12

Prompt for K-Grade 2

The Civil Rights movement in Tennessee is widely known for the peaceful nature of the African Americans fighting for their equality.   Show/tell why it is important to act peacefully or kind towards others.

Essay Prompt for Grades 3-5

Prior to the students beginning the sit-ins in Nashville, James Lawson, a Civil Rights leader, offered workshops for the students dealing with self-discipline and control.  In addition to attending the workshops, the students also had a well-devised plan on how to carry out the sit-ins.  

How did the workshops and having a plan aid the students in the sit-in success in Nashville?

Information provided by:

Essay Prompt for Grades 6-8

John Lewis, Civil Rights leader, posed two questions dealing with pushing forward with the sit-ins and protests working toward desegregation. 

“If not us, then who?” he asked. “If not now, then when?”

The students who coordinated the Nashville sit-ins completely agreed with John Lewis and pushed forward with sit-ins in Nashville even after numerous arrests and violence toward them.  

The sit-ins in Nashville were an example of the nonviolent protests that helped motivate others across the country, and many of the students who took part in the Nashville sit-ins became Civil Rights leaders. 

What do you believe was the impact of John Lewis’ questions on the students conducting the sit-ins in Nashville?

Information provided by:

Essay Prompt for Grades 9-12

Ben West was the mayor of Nashville during the time of the sit-ins.  West worked continually to improve race relations in the community.  One pivotal point for Nashville was when, during a demonstration by the students conducting the sit-ins, West was asked to take a stand against segregation and was asked publicly if he supported discrimination. He followed through with his support of the African American community and said he was opposed to both segregation and discrimination.  This led the business community to take swift action in desegregating Nashville.  

In your opinion, who had the larger role in the desegregation of Nashville—the students conducting the sit-ins or Mayor Ben West?  Find additional research to support your claim.  

Guidelines for the Essays

Length and style:
K-2 – May be submitted in words or pictures
Grades 3-5 – An essay between 150-200 words
Grades 6-8 – An essay between 250-350 words
Grades 9-12 – An essay not to exceed 500 words


Download Entry Form

The essay may be handwritten or produced on a computer in 12 pt font
Submitting the essays:  Individual essays should be accompanied by a separate but completed entry form, copy attached.  If submissions are coming from a class in school, we ask that teachers number each essay from the class and include entry forms with numbers which match the essays in a separate folder or envelope.
Copyright:  All essays become the property of MTFD which reserves the right to publish all essays.

Judging Criteria:

Download Grades K-2 Scoring Rubrics

Download Grades 3-12 Scoring Rubrics


A cash prize of $100 will be awarded to the winner in each age group.
Winners and at least one adult family member will be expected to attend the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast at 1st United Methodist Church at 7:00 am, to present his or her essay.

Deadline for Entries is Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Hamblen County Schools return to Sarah Cates Office
Others should mail to:  Morristown Task Force on Diversity, c/o Rose Center, 442 W. Second North St., Morristown, TN 37814

Hosted by Morristown’s Task Force on Diversity
Sponsored also by the Citizen Tribune and Hamblen County Department of Education

When: Monday, January 21, 2019 from 7 AM – 9 AM
Where: First United Methodist Church,101 East 1st North Street, Morristown, Tennessee 37814

Morristown’s Task Force on Diversity will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast being held on Monday, January 21, 2019 at First United Methodist Church in Morristown. 

This annual breakfast provides Hamblen County and surrounding areas an opportunity to remember and honor the life and legacy of Dr. King. The Keynote Speaker this year is Clara Ester, an eye witness to the assassination of Dr. King in Memphis, Tennessee.

Clara Ester was a young woman on that fateful day in April,1968. Clara heard a noise and when she turned, she saw Dr. King fall. Instinctively, she rushed forward.

In a lecture to the Chautauqua Society on August 15, 2018, Ms. Ester, a retired deaconess of the United Methodist Church, spoke eloquently about the lessons of that day and how it has inspired a lifetime of work.

–The Chautauquan Daily, August 16, 2018

Students in Hamblen County have participated in the annual essay contest sponsored by the Citizen Tribune. Winners of the essay contest in four categories will receive awards at the breakfast. Three Community Awards will be also be presented:
the 2019 Community Award in Community Building
the 2019 Community Award for Advancing Cultural Awareness
the 2019 Community Award for Service and Advocacy.

Descriptions of these awards may be found on the MTFD website at www.

Breakfast is being catered by Little City Catering/Jersey Girl. The breakfast buffet opens at 7am. The program begins promptly at 7:30am. Tickets are $20 per adult; $10 per student and $10 per Veteran. 

Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Walters State Community College at 423-585-6806 or by calling the Rose Center at 423-581-4330. If available, tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Download Essay Prompts
Clara Ester Background Info

Prompt for K-Grade 2

Clara Ester said that for everyone to be treated equal, “it has to be through love, building relationships with other people, and trying to make a difference.” Show/tell how-you can help people be treated equally through “love, building relationships, and trying to make a difference”.

Essay Prompt for Grades 3-5

Read the  attached background  and interview transcript from Clara Ester and then analyze the following quote from the interview. (Our hope is that teachers, parents, and other adults will read and discuss the attached background and interview transcript with the children of this age group and discuss the meaning of the quote with them).

“But amazingly, we talk about that dream, his (Martin Luther King Jr.) dream is our dream.”

What was Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and how is it still our dream today?

Essay Prompt for Grades 6-8

Read the attached background and interview transcript from Clara Ester and then analyze  the following quote from her.

“So” I ask myself often: Where do we go from here? It has to be through love, building relationships with other people, and trying to make a difference. And speaking out. We  have to start speaking out.”

Clara Ester gives us four ways to help build equality-love, building relationships, trying to make a difference, and speaking out. Which of these do you believe has the greatest impact to build equality for human kind.

Essay Prompt for Grades 9-12

Read the attached background and interview transcript from Clara Ester and then analyze the following quote from her.

In another interview. Clara Ester said that every April 4 since the  assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. has been difficult for her to bear, in part because pictures from the  assassination scene are re-circulated in the news media. At times she believes it is even more difficult to deal with now.

“Primarily because we have circled back to where we may have been 50 years ago…”

Support or refute Clara Ester’s claim that “we have circled back to where we may have been 50 years ago. . . “. Have we circled back? If so, how? If not, what progress have we  made?