The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is almost upon us! Below are a few books that are good for young readers to get acquainted with Dr. King and his legacy.
I HAVE A DREAM (Book & CD) by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
MY FIRST BIOGRAPHY: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. by Marion Dane Bauer
MY DADDY, DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. by Martin Luther King III
A PICTURE BOOK OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (Picture Book Biography) by David A. Adler
I AM MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer
For the adults, Dr. King’s legacy has been boiled down to a very milquetoast message of general love. It’s a worthy challenge to take on this year to read his own words beyond the “I Have A Dream” speech because he had more than a dream, he had demands. A quick and easy read is WHY WE CAN’T WAIT. Why we can’t wait is King’s further development of the ideas he originally put forth in Letter from a Birmingham Jail. I find reading this book invigorating. I’ll be by myself talking to the book, highlighting, note-taking and looking around for an Amen corner.
King covers issues of the degradation of labor and abuse of police power. He blasts the tokenism of putting a few people of color in power while the masses suffer. King also puts forth a powerful case for affirmative action and makes clear that affirmative action needs to be based on economics and must include poor whites. WHAT? Read it! There is no more powerful voice for a powerful man than his own.
“If [the Negro] is still saying, ‘Not enough,’ it is because he doesn’t to feel that he should be expired to be grateful for the halting and inadequate attempts of his society to catch up with the basic rights he ought to have inherited automatically, centuries ago, by virtue of his membership in the human family and his American birthright.”
Kindle estimates that the reading time for this short book is 3 hours and 7 minutes. It is time well-spent.