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Student Letters to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: "If It Wasn’t for You..."

Two T.C. Howe High School students reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s impact and write letters in response.

January 20, 2020

The TFA Editorial Team

The TFA Editorial Team

A Letter to Dr. King by Aaliyah Parker

Dear Martin,

Hey, it’s me Aaliyah, and to be honest with you, I don’t know what to say or how to start off... Well, let me just start off by introducing myself. I am a 14 year old girl with curly brown to blonde hair and hazel eyes in the sun but brown eyes without it. And yeah that’s really all about me. Oh, and yes, I’m mixed with brown, Latino, and a little bit of Cuban. But enough of talking about me. I want to know where you got the strength and courage to stand up towards racism!! That’s just woooaaahh! I just want to know the real you... so let’s start.

I just want to start off by thanking you and what you have done not only for yourself but for all African Americans all around the world. If it wasn’t for you I probably wouldn’t be here in this school with Latinos, whites, etc. I wouldn’t even exist because of what I’m mixed with so I just want to take my time and thank you even though you’re probably never going to read this. I just want you to know that I love you even though I never met you. Welp... Can I just ask you—how did you survive all of this during a racist time--and how girls that were white couldn’t touch girls that were black. That is upsetting. And the same towards boys—wow, that must have been terrifying and upsetting, especially now that people are free. You and your family and everyone else had to go through all of that, and you sacrificed your life so we could be free. If you read this, I want you to know that we love you so much and that we thank you, hope for the best, and rest well.

With peace and kindness, Aaliyah

A Letter to Dr. King by Liliana Varelas

Dear Dr. King,

My name is Liliana Varelas. I am a student at TC Howe. I am an 8th grader who hates racism. I have a big family who I love with all my heart. I am so thankful that you always gave your best for this country. I love that you participated in the Civil Rights Movement with no violence. Back then you couldn’t go to the same schools with white people. Now we can. We have great education thanks to you and all those people who gave their best. Now we can drink from the same water fountains. It’s really important to socialize with different races because you have different, positive points of view.



Aaliyah Parker and Liliana Varelas attend Thomas Carr Howe Community High School. They are students of 2019 corps member and English teacher Elise Woods. 

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