Over 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, America is still working towards the dream that he envisioned. We’ve selected six books for adults and six for kids & teens that shed light on Dr. King’s life, the Civil Rights movement, and how his legacy has shaped the past half-century.
King’s Dream by Eric J. Sundquist
Presents the full text of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech and places it in the history of debates on racial justice and demonstrates how it eloquently expresses the story of African American freedom.
My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
The wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and singular 20th-century American civil rights activist presents her full life story, as told before her death to one of her closest confidants.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Last Interview
Ranging from an early 1961 interview in which King describes his reasons for joining the ministry, to a 1964 conversation with Robert Penn Warren, to his last interview, a timely volume pays tribute the man whose insistence on equality and peace defined the Civil Rights Movement and forever changed the course of American History.
Features more than 20 works, organized by theme, by the celebrated orator and civil rights champion that highlight his revolutionary vision as a democratic socialist, his opposition to the Vietnam War, his solidarity with the poor and his fight against global imperialism.
Hellhound on His Trail by Hampton Sides
On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray shot Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel. As chaos erupted across the country and mourners gathered at King’s funeral, investigators launched a sixty-five day search for King’s assassin that would lead them across two continents. With a blistering, cross-cutting narrative that draws on a wealth of dramatic unpublished documents, Hellhound On His Trail shines a light on the largest manhunt in American history and brings it to life for all to see.
To the Promised Land by Michael K Honey
Goes beyond popularized views of Martin Luther King, Jr., to explore his committed advocacy of the poor, the working class and unions as well as his views about nonviolent resistance to all forms of oppression, particularly economic inequality. By the award-winning author of Going Down Jericho Road.
Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman
When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man, a movement was set in motion that led to other nonviolent boycotts, marches, and walks–resulting in the civil rights movement and major social changes throughout the nation.
Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
Doreen Rappaport has taken the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. and woven in her own to create a captivating yet completely accessible book for young readers. This definitive picture book biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is an unforgettable portrait of a man whose dream changed America – and the world – forever.
Be a King by Carole Boston Weatherford
Featuring a dual narrative of the key moments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life alongside a modern class as the students learn about him, poetic text encapsulates the lessons that readers today can apply to their own lives.
I See the Promised Land by Arthur Flowers
Describes the apartheid South in Martin Luther King’s time, which in many ways was not very different from the early days of slavery, with descriptions of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the formation of civil rights groups, and mass movements against segregation.
Martin Rising by Andrea Davis Pinkney
The award-winning husband-and-wife team present a sumptuously illustrated tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to non-violent protest in support of civil rights, in a metaphorical and spiritually symbolic poetic requiem that covers King’s final months and assassination.
Chasing King’s Killer by James L. Swanson
Offers an inside look into the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his assassin, James Earl Ray, discussing the history of the time and systematically examining the assassination and its aftermath.