Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster Exhibition 2021

The Alexandria Black History Museum with the Office of Historic Alexandria is sponsoring a Student Poster Exhibition for Alexandria City Public School students, grades 2-5.

Page updated on Jan 27, 2021 at 1:17 PM

Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster Exhibition 2021

January 18, 2021

Poster Help the Community by Kennadi NormanThe Poster Contest goes virtual for 2021. Due to Covid-19 and the desire to keep our children and our community healthy and safe, there will be no ceremony or exhibit at Alexandria City Hall this year. Instead, the student posters are presented on this page.

I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education, and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits…

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Acceptance speech at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony
December 10, 1964

This Year's Posters

The Alexandria City Public Schools provided guidance to teachers, parents and students on how to submit the artwork.

View a slideshow of the students' posters, and download your favorites, or watch the video below.

View remarks from by Andrew Watson, ACPS Fine Arts Curriculum Specialist.

This Year's Theme: Creating a Hopeful World

MLK Poster 2021, Jamie Hanks, 5th grade, MauryThis year's theme comes from a quote from another Civil Rights icon, John Lewis: 

My simple message would be you find something that you feel very strong about. Stand up, speak up, speak out. Give it your all. Push, pull. I’ve said from time to time, never ever give up, or give in, or give out. And whatever you do, do it with faith, and hope, and much love.

Who is John Lewis?

John Lewis slide show John Lewis, (born February 21, 1940, near Troy, Alabama — died July 17, 2020, Atlanta, Georgia), was an American civil rights leader and politician best known for his chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and for leading the march that was halted by police violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, a landmark event in the history of the civil rights movement that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” 

As a teenager, he was inspired by Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lewis studied non-violent protest, and became involved in sit-ins at segregated lunch counters and participated in the Freedom Rides that challenged the segregation of Southern interstate bus terminals. By his early 20’s he was already considered one of the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement alongside Dr. King. He helped organize the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King delivered his “I have a dream” speech and was the youngest speaker there. He was beaten and jailed many times for his peaceful protest of unfair laws and treatment. Lewis received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, presented by President Barack Obama. He represented his Atlanta district as a U. S. Congressman from 1986 until his death in July 2020.

Click on the image or on this link to view the slide show: John Lewis 1940 - 2020

Teaching about John Lewis

Learn more about John Lewis and his legacy.



Elementary School 

    • John Lewis in the Lead, by James Haskins (2011)
    • John Lewis (My Itty-Bitty Bio), by Meeg Pincus (2021)

    Middle School

      • March: Book One, by John Lewis (2013)
      • The Story of Civil Rights Hero John Lewis, by James Haskins (2018)

      High School

      • His Truth is Living On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope, by Jon Meacham (2011)

      Who is Martin Luther King, Jr.?

      Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta Georgia. He attended Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary and Boston University. He received his Ph.D. in 1953. In Boston, Dr. King met Coretta Scott whom he married on June 18, 1953. Dr. They had four children, two girls and two boys.

      Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, Martin Luther King, Jr. became a minister. In 1954, he became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama and joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a well-respected civil rights organization.

      Dr. King was determined to end the discrimination faced by African Americans. As a result of racial segregation, African Americans in many parts of the United States could not be educated, eat, shop or use the same facilities that whites could. Dr. King and many other Americans, both black and white, risked their lives to end this inequality. Dr. King organized boycotts, marches and other forms of peaceful and non-violent protests to help African Americans gain equality. In 1957, Dr. King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to promote the civil rights movement.

      In 1963, Dr. King was named Man of Year by Time Magazine. In 1964, he became the youngest man (at 35) to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. His legacy lives on in his speeches and in the many people, all over the world, who work to make their communities a better place.

      There is so much more to learn about Martin Luther King, Jr.  

      Teaching about Martin Luther King, JR.

      The following resources are recommended for Alexandria City Public School teachers, in preparing classes on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.



      Elementary School:

        • As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom, by Richardson Michelson (2008)
        • Martin’s Big Words—The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by Doreen Rapport (2001)

        Middle School:  

        • Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader and Who HQ (2007)
        • Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968, by Alice Fay Duncan (2018)

        High School:

        • Dear Martin, by Nic Stone (2017)

        Program Sponsors

        • The Alexandria Black History Museum 
        • The Alexandria City Public Schools