March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World

  • Review Date: January 10, 2010
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2010

Common Sense Media says

Powerful, kid-friendly intro to black history stories.
  • Review Date: January 10, 2010
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2010





What parents need to know

Educational value

Children (and their parents) will learn about the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr., his family, the march on Washington, Rosa Parks, the Alabama bus boycott, and the underground railroad.

Positive messages

Positive messages include the importance of equal treatment of all
people, the way individuals can make a difference and overcome tremendous adversity, the fact that there
wasn't always a time in America when a black man could've ever been
president, and the inherent unfairness of slavery.

Positive role models

All of the individuals featured, most prominently Martin Luther King,
Rosa Parks and Henry "Box" Brown, made many personal sacrifices to
fight for their basic freedoms. Civil Rights activists, in particular,
are wonderful role models, because they acted selflessly to help
further an important cause, even though being a freedom fighter came at
a high price.

Violence & scariness

The narratives mention how slaves were often separated from their families, that MLK was killed, the unfair practices of segregation, and that Emmet Till was "lynched."

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Scholastic Storybook DVD includes narrations of four children's books about the civil rights movement and black history. Two focus on Martin Luther King Jr., one follows Rosa Parks and the bus boycott, and the final story chronicles how a slave mailed himself to freedom. Although the DVD is preschooler-friendly (it's basically just narration accompanying images from the books and archival photographs), there are some words like "boycott," "segregation," and "lynching" (not to mention all of the pro-integration political organizations) that will go over younger viewers' heads. The stories provide powerful examples of individuals who stood up to, as author Nikki Giovanni calls them, "evil customs" and made a tremendous impact to African-American history.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Released just in time for Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month, MARCH ON! THE DAY MY BROTHER CHANGED THE WORLD... AND MORE STORIES ABOUT AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY is another entry in the Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD collection. It includes dramatic readings of four children's books, leading off with March On! The Day My Brother Changed the World, written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s sister Dr. Christine King Ferris about the March on Washington; Doreen Rapport's similarly themed book Martin's Big Words; Nikki Giovanni's biographical story about Rosa Parks, Rosa; and Ellen Levine's underground railroad tale Henry's Freedom Box. The DVD also boasts interviews with Dr. King Ferris and Ellen Levine about their respective books.

Is it any good?


Those unfamiliar with Scholastic's Storybook Treasures series should be aware that these are animated adaptations of books; they're old-school narrations (often by the authors themselves or celebrities, in this case Lynn Whitfield, Michael Clarke Duncan, and writer Nikki Giovanni) accompanied by the books' illustrations and some historical photographs. That said, the March On! collection is a perfect introduction to the civil rights movement and black history for young kids. The four easy-to-follow stories all depict a time in American history when African Americas were treated either as chattel or second-class citizens -- not exactly simple concepts for children to grasp, and yet the collection manages to explain how black people were treated unequally in a way even preschoolers should understand on a basic level.

Hearing about the pivotal "I Have a Dream" speech from the perspective of King's sister, or about Rosa Parks' day before she fatefully sat on that Montgomery bus, or how a slave, despondent over the loss of his sold wife and children, overcame his grief to mail himself to freedom, is important for kids and their parents. Entertaining and educational, this DVD will teach children and remind adults of the sacrifices so many individuals have made for the cause of freedom -- from slavery and inequality.



Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the issues of injustice and racial prejudice, and how African Americans had to overcome being treated so cruelly and unfairly.

  • How did MLK, Rosa Parks, and Henry "Box" Brown each stand up to "evil customs"? How did they enact change?

  • Why is it still important to discuss slavery and Jim Crow segregation -- both deplorable aspects of American history? How are things different now for African Americans?

  • Why does Dr. King Ferris say black children growing up now can have

  • bigger dreams than when she and her brother Martin were kids? Does President Obama being black mean there is no more racial prejudice?

Movie details

DVD release date:January 12, 2010
Cast:Lynn Whitfield, Michael Clarke Duncan
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:69 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2 year old Written bySilva January 27, 2010
What other families should know
Great role models
Educator Written bywriterskramp August 7, 2011

See the light! The flag IS appropriate!

In Martin Luther King Jrs words "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred. Only love can do that" The flag is soo appropriate!

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 0 years old January 25, 2010

insert review text

What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great messages


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