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Martin Luther King, Jr.
A 10-Minute Mini Musical Play for Kids about
Segregation and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ron Fink and John Heath

Bad Wolf Press provides fun and easy musical plays for K-9 classrooms
*  Bring your curriculum, your classroom to life
*  Absolutely no musical talent/ability needed!
*  Catchy melodies, dumb jokes, interesting stories
*  Everything you need at one low price

Songs:
Separate but Equal
Vocal      Instrumental

He Had a Dream
Vocal      Instrumental

We created our 10-Minute Minis to give teachers a fun, memorable, and time-efficient (ten minutes!) way to supplement or review a specific area of the curriculum. These shows are meant to be read aloud once, twice, or (at most) three times with different students reading different parts each time. No rehearsing; no memorizing; no costumes, sets, or audience. All the students have lines in every show, and each show has two songs that can be sung by all the students. These are NOT musical plays designed to be performed on a stage in front of an audience. We suppose it could be done that way, and it may even work pretty darn well. Teachers are a lot smarter than we are, and though we try our best to thwart your creativity, you usually outsmart us. Still, give the “reading aloud without rehearsal” system a shot. We think this show will give you a lot of curricular bang for your ten-minute buck.

Casting

This show uses 29 NARRATORS, although the spoken lines can be distributed in whatever way works for your students. The entire Class functions as a CHORUS, which both speaks lines (and parts of lines) and sings two songs. At one point early in the show we recommend that the Class be divided into two separate Choruses that take turns recounting various examples of Jim Crow
laws.

Script

NARRATOR #1: Martin Luther King, Jr. was very important in American history.
To understand what he did, we need to find out what life was like for black
Americans before he became a leader in the Civil Rights movement.

NARRATOR #2: After the Civil War, the northern states tried to change
southern society and politics in what was called Reconstruction.

NARRATOR #3: But by the late 1870s, most southern states were once again on
their own, and many began passing laws that made it difficult for black
citizens to vote and legalized racial segregation.

NARRATOR #4: These laws are called “Jim Crow” laws, and they required
“separate but equal” treatment of white and black Americans.

NARRATOR #5: But in reality this segregation was almost never equal.

NARRATOR #6: Here are some typical laws from the Age of Jim Crow. On
education:

CHORUS A: Separate schools are required for white and colored children.

CHORUS B: Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored
schools.

NARRATOR #7: On living and dying:

CHORUS A: All marriages between a white person and a negro are forever
prohibited.

CHORUS B: It is unlawful for anyone to rent an apartment to a negro person
when the building has white people living there.
CHORUS A: Every hospital will have separate entrances for white and colored
patients and visitors.

CHORUS B: At a cemetery, no colored persons may be buried in ground set
apart for white persons.

NARRATOR #8: On services:

CHORUS A: No restaurant may serve white and colored people in the same
room, unless they are separated by a solid partition, and unless there are
separate white and colored entrances.

CHORUS B: All bus and train stations shall have separate waiting rooms and
separate ticket windows for the white and colored races.

CHORUS A: Every employer of white or negro males shall provide separate
toilet facilities.

NARRATOR #9: On Sports and Recreation:

CHORUS B: It is illegal for a negro and white person to play together at
any game of pool or billiards.

CHORUS A: No colored person may visit a park owned by the city for the
benefit and enjoyment of white persons.

CHORUS B: Every movie theater or any place of public entertainment shall
separate the white race and the colored race.

CHORUS A: No amateur colored baseball team may play baseball in a vacant lot
or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the white
race.

NARRATOR #10: And there were even Jim Crow laws against trying to change
the Jim Crow laws:

CHORUS B: Any person who distributes printed matter suggesting social
equality between whites and negroes shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and
subject to fine or imprisonment.

Song 1
Separate but Equal
Vocal      Instrumental

ENTIRE CLASS (sings):

They wrote it in the rules
You must have separate schools
But separate wasn’t equal, they all knew.

Though playing second base
Has zilch to do with race
Athletics were all segregated too.

When you died it got worse
You went to separate cemeteries in a separate hearse.

Separate but equal
There’s a fatal flaw
Blacks had no equality
Still it was the law.
Separate but equal
So said ol’ Jim Crow
Finally they came to see
It had to go.

And if you had a thirst
Go read the sign there first
There’re separate drinking fountains, don’t you know

Hotels could let you in
Depending on your skin
There’re bathrooms for each race with ol’ Jim Crow.

Traveling ’round was no treat
The trains had separate cars and buses all had separate seats.

Separate but equal
There’s a fatal flaw
Blacks had no equality
Still it was the law.
Separate but equal
So said ol’ Jim Crow
Finally they came to see
It had to go, it had to go, it had to go.

 

(This concludes the first one-third of the script.)

See more of our Musical Plays, School Presentations, Social Studies, Black History, Biographical and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Song Lyrics

Many thanks to Ron Fink and John Heath for permission to display these lyrics.
© Ron Fink and John Heath. All rights reserved. Used with permission. 

 



School Concert
Song Lyrics


Martin Luther King Jr.
Song Lyrics


African-American History
Song Lyrics


Biographical Song Lyrics


Social Studies
Song Lyrics

 


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