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Martin Luther King in the UK: A resource pack for teachers

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Inspired by Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s trip to Newcastle University in 1967, we have worked with schools to produce a free resource pack to help bring the legacy of Dr King alive for a new generation of young people and provoke them to think about the world they live in and how they can change it for the better.

In November 1967 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr made a 48-hour trip to the UK to visit Newcastle University and accept an honorary degree. 

In accepting the honour, Dr King made a moving and impromptu acceptance speech in which he spoke about the three ‘urgent and great problems that we face not only in the United States of America but all over the world today, that is the problem of racism, the problem of poverty, and the problem of war’. These issues are just as relevant today as they were in 1967.

Poignantly, this was to be his last speech outside the US: barely six months later, the world was shocked at his murder. In 2017, Newcastle University and partners across the city are marking the 50th anniversary of Dr King’s visit with a programme of activities under the banner of Freedom City 2017. Drawing on up-to-date academic research, the resources have been produced by staff at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities and local school teachers for the Martin Luther King Peace Committee as part of those commemorations.

Aimed at students aged 7 – 16 (Key Stages 2, 3 & 4), the comprehensive pack includes lesson plans, hand-outs, worksheets, music recordings and presentation slides for lessons across a broad spectrum of subjects, including History, RE, Geography, English, PHSE, Music, Drama, Art and even Chemistry. It also includes material for assemblies.

It can be used as stand-alone lessons and assemblies, or as part of a whole-school cross-curriculum activity for a themed week or over a longer period. The pack could be used for one-off lessons in the standard curriculum, or to mark Black History Month or Martin Luther King Day.

To see the full programme of activities taking place as part of Freedom City 2017, visit


Relevant subjects Type of activity Suitable audiences
  • Politics
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy
  • Music
  • Law
  • History
  • Geography
  • English Literature
  • English Language
  • Resources
  • KS 2
  • KS 3
  • KS 4