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Library on Topic: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Every year the City of Arlington joins cities across the country to participate in the MLK Day of Service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This year the program and events are virtual but are still focused on walking the dream that Dr. King placed before the United States and the world.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. His first name was originally Michael, but it was later changed to Martin. He graduated high school at the age of 15 and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in 1948 from Morehouse College following the tradition of his father and grandfather. He received a Bachelor of Divinity from Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1951 and a doctorate in 1955 from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. While in Boston, King met Coretta Scott and they married in 1953. King was named Senior Pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery Alabama. Keeping with family tradition he would later become a co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia with his father in 1960.
King is probably most known for his work in advancing civil rights in the United States of America, especially in the southern states. He helped to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, he was a founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, and the use of nonviolent methods of protest. Two of King’s most famous cultural memories are his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, given in Washington, D.C. in 1963. Because of King’s commitment to nonviolence, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
In 1965, King led the famous march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery where he delivery a rousing speech to pressure President Lyndon B. Johnson into signing the 1965 Voting Act. In 1968, King would give his final speech “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” on April 3. The next day on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee while standing on a hotel balcony King was assassinated. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the federal holiday honoring King. By 2000, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day would be celebrated in all 50 states.
In 1994, to continue King’s legacy of service Congress, with the support of President Bill Clinton, created Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service; it is considered a “day on, not a day off.”
Check Out these items in our collection about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Early Learners (0-4)
- This little dreamer: an inspirational primer by Joan Holub & Daniel Rood
- A board book introduction to 10 history-shaping visionaries who helped pave the way to a better world
- I am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer; illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
- A biography of Martin Luther King Jr. that tells the story of how he used nonviolence to lead the civil rights movement”
- Belle, the last mule at Gee's Bend: a civil rights story by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud; illustrated by John Holyfield
- In Gee's Bend, Alabama, Miz Pettway tells young Alex about the historic role her mule played in the struggle for civil rights led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Includes factual information about the community of Gee's Bend and Martin Luther King, Jr.
- We march by Shane W. Evans
- Illustrations and brief text portray the events of the 1963 march in Washington, D.C., where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a historic speech.
School Age (5-8)
- My daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III; illustrated by AG Ford
- Provides insight into one of history's most fascinating families and a special bond between father and son.
- Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Sally Lee
- "Discusses the history and importance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as well as ways that Americans celebrate it"--Provided by publisher.
- A ride to remember: a merry-go-round and its civil rights story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan
- The true story of how a ride on a carousel made a powerful Civil Rights statement on the same day as Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington.
- A place to land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the speech that inspired a nation by Barry Wittenstein; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
- The true story behind the writing of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech
- America in the time of Martin Luther King, Jr.: 1948 to 1976 by Sally Senzell Isaacs
- Covers the story of our nation in troubled times during the life of Martin Luther King and discusses how he tried to help.
- March on! [DVD]: the day my brother Martin changed the world: -- and more stories about African American history / [presented by] Weston Woods; Scholastic
- This entertaining yet educational collection of films celebrates African-American history.
- --if you lived at the time of Martin Luther King by Ellen Levine; illustrated by Anna Rich
- Takes the reader back to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, tracing the efforts of Dr. King and other civil rights activists
- Martin Luther King Jr. by Laurie Calkhoven; illustrated by Charlotte Ager
- In this biography learn all about MLK--from his early family life and experiences in education to his untimely death and the worldwide mourning and riots that followed.
- Chasing King's killer: the hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Assassin 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.
- Martin Luther King Jr.: let freedom ring by Michael Teitelbaum & Lewis Helfand
- The life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is traced from birth and childhood to his death.
- I see the promised land: a life of Martin Luther King, Jr. [text by] Arthur Flowers; [illustrations by] Manu Chitrakar; [design by] Guglielmo Rossi
- Presents in a graphic novel format the life of the Baptist minister and Noble Peace Prize winner who became the leader and orator of the African American civil rights movement.
- Dear Martin by Nic Stone
- Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seventeen-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him.
- Selma [DVD]
- Dramatizes the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches.
- King in the wilderness [DVD]
- Follows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the volatile last three years of his life, from the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to his assassination in April 1968.
- The heavens might crack: the death and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Jason Sokol
- A vivid portrait of how Americans grappled with King's death and legacy in the days, weeks, and months after his assassination On April 4, 1968.
- Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.'s last 31 hours by Joseph Rosenbloom
- Chronicles the last 31 hours of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life as he seeks to revive the non-violent civil rights movement and push to end poverty in America.