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Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968)

Author of Why We Can't Wait

145+ Works 11,119 Members 201 Reviews 11 Favorited

About the Author

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 into a middle-class black family in Atlanta, Georgia. He received a degree from Morehouse College. While there his early concerns for social justice for African Americans were deepened by reading Henry David Thoreau's essay "Civil Disobedience." show more He enrolled in Crozer Theological Seminary and there became acquainted with the Social Gospel movement and the works of its chief spokesman, Walter Rauschenbusch. Mohandas Gandhi's practice of nonviolent resistance (ahimsaahimsa) later became a tactic for transforming love into social change. After seminary, he postponed his ministry vocation by first earning a doctorate at Boston University School of Theology. There he discovered the works of Reinhold Niebuhr and was especially struck by Niebuhr's insistence that the powerless must somehow gain power if they are to achieve what is theirs by right. In the Montgomery bus boycott, it was by economic clout that African Americans broke down the walls separating the races, for without African American riders, the city's transportation system nearly collapsed. The bus boycott took place in 1954, the year King and his bride, Coretta Scott, went to Montgomery, where he had been called to serve as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Following the boycott, he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to coordinate civil rights organizations. Working through African American churches, activists led demonstrations all over the South and drew attention, through television and newspaper reports, to the fact that nonviolent demonstrations by blacks were being suppressed violently by white police and state troopers. The federal government was finally forced to intervene and pass legislation protecting the right of African Americans to vote and desegregating public accommodations. For his nonviolent activism, King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. While organizing a "poor people's campaign" to persuade Congress to take action against poverty, King accepted an invitation to visit Memphis, Tennessee, where sanitation workers were on strike. There, on April 4, 1968, he was gunned down while standing on the balcony of his hotel. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the son of Reverend Martin Luther King; the father (Rev. King) was the author of Daddy King: An Autobiography (1980). Please preserve the distinction between these authors.

Image credit: From Wikipedia.


Works by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why We Can't Wait (1964) 1,475 copies
Strength to Love (1963) 1,225 copies
I Have a Dream (Book & CD) (2012) 612 copies
Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963) 554 copies
I Have a Dream (2007) 400 copies
I Have A Dream (1997) 295 copies
The Radical King (2015) 227 copies
The Measure of a Man (1988) 191 copies
The Trumpet of Conscience (1968) 169 copies
A Gift of Love (2012) 82 copies
All Labor Has Dignity (2011) — Author — 67 copies
I Have a Dream (1993) 34 copies
The Other America - A Speech from The Radical King (2018) — Author, some editions — 12 copies
I Have a Dream (2007) 11 copies
Ausgewählte Texte. (1990) 4 copies
King for Kids (2008) 3 copies
Nobel lecture (1964) 2 copies
The Ware lecture, 1966 (1966) 2 copies
I Have a Dream 2 copies
I Have a Dream 2 copies
Selma 1 copy
Siste appell 1 copy
The Concise King (2009) 1 copy
Freiheit 1 copy

Associated Works

The Best American Essays of the Century (2000) — Contributor — 773 copies
Literature: The Human Experience (2006) — Contributor — 338 copies
The Portable Sixties Reader (2002) — Contributor — 323 copies
Let Nobody Turn Us Around: An African American Anthology (1999) — Contributor — 147 copies
Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith (2010) — Contributor — 143 copies
Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept (1968) — Tribute to Dr. Du Bois, some editions — 134 copies
The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1997) — Contributor — 98 copies
Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America (1995) — Contributor — 90 copies
American Heritage: A Reader (2011) — Contributor — 80 copies
Civil Disobedience: Theory and Practice (1969) — Contributor — 60 copies
The Signet Book of American Essays (2006) — Contributor — 36 copies
Writing Politics: An Anthology (2020) — Contributor — 35 copies
The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century Protest (1998) — Contributor — 31 copies
Wade in the Water: Great Moments in Black History (1979) — Contributor — 20 copies
Encounters: Essays for Exploration and Inquiry (1999) — Contributor, some editions — 18 copies
Voices from the Dexter Pulpit (2001) — Contributor — 4 copies
Essays Today 6 (1968) — Contributor — 2 copies


Common Knowledge

Date of death
Cause of death
King, Coretta Scott (wife)
King, Martin Luther, Sr. (father)
King, Martin Luther, III (son)
Disambiguation notice
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the son of Reverend Martin Luther King; the father (Rev. King) was the author of Daddy King: An Autobiography (1980). Please preserve the distinction between these authors.



Earl Warren (From Martin Luther King Jr.) in Legacy Libraries (August 2015)


Finally got around to reading this. It was a very enlightening read. This is not a biography or commentary but simply a collection of MLK's writing curated and introduced by Cornel West. It really gave me a more profound insight into his politics (which was more complex than most discussions tend to show, even me who knew about that didn't know the full extent) but also pacifism in general. I'm not against violence to resist oppression, non-violence does not always work, but I will admit to having a more limited understanding of non-violence which has been expanded by this book.
… (more)
dond_ashall | 26 other reviews | Feb 7, 2024 |
I just finished the audiobook version. Each speech and sermon is the recording of the actual one given. I can't begin to describe how moving and uplifting Dr King's words are. This is simply one of the best books I have ever heard or read. Raise your spirit by listening to Dr King.
Personally, I am so glad that he made it to the mountaintop.
wvlibrarydude | 6 other reviews | Jan 14, 2024 |
independent reading level: Pk-3rd
Awards: Coretta Scott King award and parent choice silver honor
Akporter | 52 other reviews | Dec 7, 2023 |
Unfortunately, Martin Luther King’s legacy is often distilled into being a person who gave great speeches and advocated for a colorblind society. What’s missing in that simplistic view is his genius at organizing, his tactical brilliance, and his ability to create a vision that everyone could see. This book goes into all of that, in his own words. That helps as his actions aren’t being filtered or interpreted by someone else. King provides a great snapshot—almost like a historian—of 1963 and how the world was focusing their attentions after the assassination of President Kennedy. The main focus is on the actions in Birmingham and his ability to create a form of economic and racial justice for the people there. He also backtracks and provides a great deal of strategies—be it Biblical teachings, Gandhi, or his own understanding of America’s inhumane caste system. With social injustice still happening around the world, this book is important for anyone who has dedicated themselves to creating positive change.… (more)
JuntaKinte1968 | 6 other reviews | Dec 6, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Coretta Scott King Foreword, Editor
Wil Clay Illustrator


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