On Power and Protest

Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is correcting everything that stands against love.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.

My family has been diving deep this week into discussions of the first amendment and what a healthy protest looks like. There has been a lot to unpack for all of us, and these aren't straightforward conversations, especially for young people.  That makes them all the more important, however.  There is so much responsibility in being a good citizen.  We need to understand our rights and how our actions affect those around us.

We've spent a lot of time talking about power. Kids spend so much of their young years navigating power dynamics, whether with parents or teachers or peers. From the playground to the bed time routine, they are constantly negotiating and trying to establish themselves in the world, testing limits and gaining understanding about what it is to exist as a member of a society.  Watching current events unfold is a stark reminder that these aren't easy questions to answer even as an adult.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Protest is an important part of providing balance to power, but it's not always a comfortable thing to watch or even take part in.  With Martin Luther King Day quickly approaching, I thought King's work as a civil rights leader puts a good focus on what healthy democratic protest and civil disobedience looks like, and how these acts of questioning and resistance brought about changes that helped create the country we live in today.

There are ways that we can all work to improve our society and ourselves.  I am learning and growing in my own understanding of what it is to be a good human, and I hope that in encouraging young people to question, listen, analyze facts, and stand up for themselves and for others, we can grow a healthier and wiser future as well.



Raise Your Voice: 12 Protests That Shaped America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525518303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Philomel Books - March 10th, 2020

The Power Book: What is it, Who Has it, and Why? Cover Image
ISBN: 9781782409274
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
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Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - October 13th, 2020

We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders (Books for Kid Activists, Activism Book for Children) Cover Image
By Harry Belafonte (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781452170398
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - May 7th, 2019

Strong Voices: Fifteen American Speeches Worth Knowing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062572042
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Let the Children March Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544704527
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Clarion Books - January 2nd, 2018

Love Is Powerful Cover Image
By Heather Dean Brewer, LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781536201994
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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By Tessa Allen, Tessa Allen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062991188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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By Bonnie Bader, Who HQ, Elizabeth Wolf (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780448447230
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Workshop - December 27th, 2007