Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.

We honor Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 17th this year . Here are some resources to learn more about this amazing man.


Martin’s Big Words: the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier has won numerous awards. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way. Bryan Collier’s stunning collage art combines remarkable watercolor paintings with vibrant patterns and textures. A timeline and a list of additional books and web sites help make this a standout biography of Dr. King. Also available as a downloadable audiobook and a downloadable video.

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. with a foreword by Coretta Scott King and paintings by fifteen Coretta Scott King Award and Honor Book winners Illustrates the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as they were presented in his “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963.

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr. with paintings by Kadir Nelson is a book accompanied by a CD so children can read and hear the famous speech while viewing paintings illustrating the ideals the civil rights leader described.

Teens and Tweens

March, Book 1; Book 2; and Book 3 by John Lewis is a award-winning graphic novel trilogy by the late John Lewis. They are Congressman John Lewis’ first-hand account of his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone. Profiled by a racist police officer in spite of his excellent academic achievements and Ivy League acceptance, a disgruntled college youth navigates the prejudices of new classmates and his crush on a white girl by writing a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the hopes that his iconic role model’s teachings will be applicable half a century later. Dear Martin is also available as a downloadable eBook.


Taylor Branch has written the America in the King Years. Parting the Waters: 1954-1963, Pillar of Fire: 1963-1965, and At Canaan’s Edge: 1965-1968 make up this comprehensive trilogy. The trilogy Traces the birth of the American civil rights movement and profiles Martin Luther King, Jr., detailing the roles played by key figures around him and in government.

Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: the Climatic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution by Diane McWhorter. A major work of history, investigative journalism that breaks new ground, and personal memoir; Carry Me Home is a dramatic account of the civil rights era’s climactic battle in Birmingham, as the movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr., brought down the institutions of segregation.

The Radical King by Martin Luther King Jr; edited and introduced by Cornel West. As West writes, “Although much of America did not know the radical King–and too few know today–the FBI and US government did. They called him ‘the most dangerous man in America.’ This book unearths a radical King that we can no longer sanitize.”

Selma, is a movie biopic. Fueled by a gripping performance from David Oyelowo, Selma draws inspiration and dramatic power from the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. — but doesn’t ignore how far we remain from the ideals his work embodied.

The Speeches

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a superb preacher and orator. Experience his spoken words in the resources below.

The Concise King: Featuring Recordings of Martin Luther King, Jr is a downloadble audiobook. The timeless message of King, in his own words and voice, are essential listening for any American and for any world citizen interested in American history, social justice, or non-violent protest.

The King Institute at Stanford University have created Freedom’s Ring. They describe the site as ‘Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, animated’. Here you can compare the written and spoken speech, explore multimedia images, listen to movement activists, and uncover historical context.

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