When the Voice Inside Matches the Face

mlk apple star

Dear Reader:

When I was the social studies coordinator for the district, nothing made my day more than walking into classrooms where creative social studies lessons were taking place. Some times teachers would call to let me know they were doing something special and asked if I could drop in and participate in the lesson. I was always thrilled.

I had forgotten all about this adorable lesson that one elementary teacher used one year for MLK Day (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) until I ran across it on Pinterest. (Nancy Vandenberg is the creative teacher behind a lot of these unique social studies lessons for kindergarten and early grade school lessons in the blog address below the pictures.)

The idea, of course, is that we come from different colors, like apples, but we are each a star in ourselves.

A powerful story, arising out of Guide Post/Mysterous Ways, showed up on my screen last week and I fell in love with this story relating to Martin Luther King, Jr ….I hope you do too.

Born to Be King

Discover the amazing story that led to actor David Oyelowo’s starring role as Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Adam Hunter, Managing Editor


There is a date that actor David Oyelowo will never forget. July 24, 2007. Two months after he and his wife, Jessica, moved from England to Los Angeles to further their careers. He had just read the script for a film called Selma, about the civil-rights march led by Martin Luther King, Jr. A voice spoke to him. You will play Dr. King.

“I remember the date because it was such a shocking revelation,” David told Sojourners magazine. He knew it was the voice of God. The same voice had led him to marry Jessica nine years earlier. But this had to be a mistake. Dr. King with a British accent? David was descended from Nigerian royalty. His family had never experienced the Jim Crow American South.

The director of the film agreed—“You’re no King,” he said at David’s audition. That was that.

Or was it? David landed supporting roles in a few critically acclaimed films, yet felt compelled to spend his free time following King’s footsteps through Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia. A friend of Dr. King urged David to watch the preacher’s sermons. He played the footage over and over. He discovered a common bond with King that was more than skin deep. Both were committed fathers of four children. Both were outspoken in their faith. Both believed God had called them to their careers for a higher purpose.

“One night in Atlanta, I was about to brush my teeth—and I saw Martin Luther King staring back at me in the mirror,” David says. “I freaked out.”


Meanwhile, Selma was stuck in development limbo. So the producers hired Lee Daniels, who’d directed David in The Butler. He saw that David was born for the role.

Critics agreed. David was nominated for a Golden Globe, and Selma struck a chord with audiences too—at a time when Dr. King’s message of love and reconciliation needed to be heard again.


So until tomorrow…Let us, too, be reminded to use our voices for justice and fairness….for a world in which we all can come together to live in peace and love.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

My natural poinsettias who survived the whole year, last year, with no attention, are more beautiful now than ever on the front porch….man-made, time-restricted plants for the holidays, like store-bought poinsettias, just can’t compete in beauty with nature’s originals.


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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