Jan 18, 2014

Celebrating The Life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 20th, 2014 we honor Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his life's work- helping create freedom and equality for all, regardless of race.  
Beginning in 1983, the third Monday in January of each year serves as a reminder of King's determination to seek social justice.  President Obama has made his annual proclamation, an important announcement marking Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a federal holiday.  

King achieved many great accomplishments and his inspiring I Have a Dream speech, made during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, may be his most famous. Another notable oration is his Nobel Peace Price acceptance speech. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail  is also very well known and historically important to the Civil Rights Movement in America.

King's day of remembrance is a remarkable call to action, and citizens are encouraged to spend the day giving back to others and their communities.  This day of recognition offers many opportunities to celebrate King's legacy, such as signing up to volunteer on a community service project.  Serving on King Day helps communities come together by removing barriers to success, helping to solve social issues, and strengthens our bonds as 'a beloved community'.  You can also search for service projects in your area by using the All For Good web site.

For more information on Dr. King, check out the King Center and The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.

We are so pleased to see many books highlighting Dr. King's inspiring life for children.  We'd like to share some of our favorites with you!

 Kadir Nelson's beautiful paintings help illustrate King's famous speech, I Have a Dream.  This book also comes with a CD so readers can hear the speech in its entirety.  

Family and friends of King came together to create this wonderful homage, Martin Luther King, Jr. A King Family Tribute.  His siblings, friends, and extended family members share special memories, photographs, and even letters exchanged in this book.

 We have Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney to thank for the gem Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song.  Bringing together King's spoken word and Mahalia Jackson's gospel songs, readers can recognize how powerful voices can be. Calling for change and asking others to join in, they both used their gift for good.  

I'd like to finish with my personal favorite, a book where King's impact and dedication to change are seen to fruition.  Dr. King's powerful words helped facilitate positive social changes, as seen in Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, again by the Pinkney duo.  King is quoted throughout this picture book, and his vision for peaceful unity is seamlessly integrated with Andrea Davis Pinkney's lyrical writing.  My favorite part is the very end when we are given a successful 'recipe for integration'.