Our Friend Martin [VHS]

Our Friend Martin [VHS]

This animated time-travel adventure features a stellar cast and is a delight for kids and adults alike. When Matt, a black teenager, has to go on a class field trip to the museum of Martin Luther King Jr., he thinks that he’d rather play baseball. But the trip turns into an exciting adventure when he and his best friend, Randy, who’s white, are sent back in time to meet Dr. King.

The story is also remarkably moving, as Matt and Randy learn what Dr. King did for humanity, and come to see him as a real person, not a historical figure. Matt and Randy experience segregation firsthand when they aren’t allowed to eat on a train together. Together, they witness the bus boycott, the Birmingham riots, and the “I Have a Dream” speech. They discuss the theme of “non-violent resistance” with their new friend Martin and the work of Ghandi in India. As King tells Matt, “We must meet hate with love. It will take time, but somebody’s got to start.” Authentic historical footage blended with animation make this an excellent choice for teaching kids about the legacy of Dr. King. –Elisabeth Keating

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