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As Martin Luther King, Jr., prepared for the Birmingham campaign in early 1963, he drafted the final sermons for Strength to Love, a volume of his most well known homilies. King had begun working on the sermons during a fortnight in jail in July 1962. While behind bars, he spent uninterrupted time preparing the drafts for works such as “Loving Your Enemies” and “Shattered Dreams,” and he continued to edit the volume after his release. Strength to Love includes these classic sermons selected by Dr. King. Collectively they present King’s fusion of Christian teachings and social consciousness and promote his prescient vision of love as a social and political force for change.
On April 16, 1963, as the violent events of the Birmingham campaign unfolded in the city’s streets, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., composed a letter from his prison cell in response to local religious leaders’ criticism of the campaign. The resulting piece of extraordinary protest writing, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” was widely circulated and published in numerous periodicals. After the conclusion of the campaign and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, King further developed the ideas introduced in the letter in Why We Can’t Wait, which tells the story of African American activism in the spring and summer of 1963. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by King, Fred Shuttlesworth, and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action.
Often applauded as King’s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can’t Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. Disappointed by the slow pace of school desegregation and civil rights legislation, King observed that by 1963—during which the country celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation—Asia and Africa were “moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence but we still creep at a horse-and-buggy pace.”
King examines the history of the civil rights struggle, noting tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality, and asserts that African Americans have already waited over three centuries for civil rights and that it is time to be proactive: “For years now, I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s account of the first successful large-scale application of nonviolent resistance in America is comprehensive, revelatory, and intimate. King described his book as "the chronicle of 50,000 Negroes who took to heart the principles of nonviolence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who, in the process, acquired a new estimate of their own human worth." It traces the phenomenal journey of a community, and shows how the twenty-six-year-old King, with his conviction for equality and nonviolence, helped transform the nation—and the world.
The Essential Martin Luther King, Jr. is the ultimate collection of Dr. King's most inspirational and transformative speeches and sermons, accessibly available for the first time as an ebook. Here, in Dr. King's own words, are writings that reveal an intellectual struggle and growth as fierce and alive as any chronicle of his political life could possibly be. Included amongst the twenty selections are Dr. King's most influential and persuasive works such as "I Have a Dream" and "Letter from Birmingham Jail" but also the essay "Pilgrimage to Nonviolence," and his last sermon "I See the Promised Land," preached the day before he was assassinated.
Published in honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, The Essential Martin Luther King, Jr. includes twenty selections that celebrate the life's work of our most visionary thinkers. Collectively, they bring us Dr. King in many roles—philosopher, theologian, orator, essayist, and author—and further cement the most powerful and enduring words of a man who touched the conscience of the nation and world.
“AT THE first National Conference on Christian Education of the United Church of Christ, held at Purdue University in the summer of 1958, Martin Luther King presented two notable devotional addresses. Moved by the dear and persuasive quality of his words, many of the 3000 delegates to the conference urged that the meditations be made available in book form. They wanted the book for their own libraries and they were eager to share Dr. King’s vital messages with fellow Christians of other denominations.
“In the resolute struggle of American Negroes to achieve complete acceptance as citizens and neighbors the author is recognized as a leader of extraordinary resourcefulness, valor, and skill. His concern for justice and brotherhood and the nonviolent methods that he advocated and uses, are based on a serious commitment to the Christian faith.
“As his meditations in this book suggest, Dr. King regards meditation and action as indivisible functions of the religious life. When we think seriously in the presence of the Most High, when in sincerity we “go up to the mountain of the Lord,” the sure event is that “he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths” (Isaiah 2: 3).”
The first collection of King’s essential writings for high school students and young people
A Time to Break Silence presents Martin Luther King, Jr.'s most important writings and speeches—carefully selected by teachers across a variety of disciplines—in an accessible and user-friendly volume. Now, for the first time, teachers and students will be able to access Dr. King's writings not only electronically but in stand-alone book form.
Arranged thematically in five parts, the collection includes nineteen selections and is introduced by award-winning author Walter Dean Myers. Included are some of Dr. King’s most well-known and frequently taught classic works, including “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream,” as well as lesser-known pieces such as “The Sword that Heals” and “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” that speak to issues young people face today.
This companion volume to A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. includes the text of his most well-known oration, "I Have a Dream", his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, and Beyond Vietnam, a powerful plea to end the ongoing conflict. Includes contributions from Rosa Parks, Aretha Franklin, the Dalai Lama, and many others.
In November and December 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered five lectures for the renowned Massey Lecture Series of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The collection was immediately released as a book under the title Conscience for Change, but after King’s assassination in 1968, it was republished as The Trumpet of Conscience. The collection sums up his lasting creed and is his final testament on racism, poverty, and war.
Each oration in this volume encompasses a distinct theme and speaks prophetically to today’s perils, addressing issues of equality, conscience and war, the mobilization of young people, and nonviolence. Collectively, they reveal some of King’s most introspective reflections and final impressions of the movement while illustrating how he never lost sight of our shared goals for justice. The book concludes with “A Christmas Sermon on Peace”—a powerful lecture that was broadcast live from Ebenezer Baptist Church on Christmas Eve in 1967. In it King articulates his long-term vision of nonviolence as a path to world peace.