We suggest: Honoring the life & legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Collection Management Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph

One of the best known leaders of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. preached nonviolence, marched, and was jailed in pursuit of equal rights. Assassinated in 1968, his legacy continues to inspire. Find titles below honoring Martin Luther King Jr., his life, his legacy, and his contemporaries.

What we suggest


The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age by Patrick Parr

Why you should try it: King’s religion was a significant part of his life, but not often discussed in such depth.

Description: The Seminarian is the first definitive, full-length account of King’s years as a divinity student at Crozer Theological Seminary. Long passed over by biographers and historians, this period in King’s life is vital to understanding the historical figure he soon became.

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Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Stephen B Oates

Why you should try it: This award-winning biography reveals the man beneath the icon.

Description: A candid, sympathetic portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. explores the complex life and dedicated career of the noted civil rights leader.

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I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King

Why you should try it: One of the best speeches ever given, it continues to inspire.

Description: A 50th anniversary tribute to the civil rights leader and the inspirational speech he delivered in August of 1963 combines magnificent artwork by Kadir Nelson with the actual text from one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history.

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The Sword & the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X & Martin Luther King Jr. by Peniel E. Joseph

Why you should try it: Despite their different views for how to bring about equality for Black people, these two leaders respected one another.

Description: The author of Stokely: A Life challenges popular misconceptions in a dual portrait of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. that reveals how in spite of conflicting ideologies the pair inspired each other’s achievements.

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My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King

Why you should try it: Coretta Scott King was a supportive wife and civil rights activist in her own right.

Description: 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.

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Fannie Lou Hamer: America’s Freedom Fighting Woman by Maegan Parker Brooks

Why you should try it: Hamer was a contemporary of King, and her testimony before the Democratic National Convention helped open delegates’ eyes to the insidiousness of racism.

Description: Fannie Lou Hamer leapt to America’s attention in 1964 when she delivered a stinging indictment of the American promise to the Democratic National Convention. This accessible biography underscores that Hamer’s testimony was but one moment within a remarkable life that spanned 59 tumultuous years in the history of American race relations.

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Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph

About Dontaná

Dontaná is a Collection Management Librarian who was born with an unending reading list. She is almost always reading two books simultaneously and is easily distracted by cool covers.

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