That’s how Bono, of U2, described the plight, aspirations and life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the song “Pride.” Though today we celebrate the birth of this Nobel Peace Prize winner (the holiday is the third Monday of January – his actual birthday was January 15th), we are really celebrating his accomplishments and the way he achieved them (love and non-violence).
It’s hard to believe, but this is the 25th year that our country has been celebrating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Most of us know that Dr. King was an instrumental figure during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s, and many know key lines from his most famous speeches. However, if you’re interested in scratching below the surface and finding out more about the man – his life and his mission – then the Fontana Regional Library is here to help.
One of the best places to start on any quest to learn more about King, is to read the Pulitzer prize winning trilogy written by Taylor Branch: Parting the Waters: America in the King years, 1954-63, Pillar of fire : America in the King years, 1963-65, and At Canaan’s edge : America in the King years, 1965-68. The first book in this trilogy provides an excellent biography of King and the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement, the other two tomes take the reader though each trial and setback until his tragic assassination in 1968.
If you are interested in reading some writings by King himself, these books will be of interest: The Measure of a Man, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr, or the text to many of his most important speeches, sermons and letters can be found in The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.
There are many wonderful children’s books written about Dr. King, as well, including: March on! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World, Martin’s big words : the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and My Dream of Martin Luther King.
So if you want to know more about this American icon, or any other heroic figures, just head to your nearest library and find a great book on him or her.