He might be the elderly man, gnarled hands caressing a pencil as he tutors a child in need of more math skills.
She might be a fresh-faced nurse with a gentle touch, giving comfort to someone at the end of life. Or maybe he’s a child who stands up to bullies or who donates her birthday presents to kids who have nothing.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and this month with the anniversary of his assassination, we celebrate one giant: Dr. Martin Luther King. By reading about his life, you can learn more about his death, his works and his personal story outside his actions.
I was quite impressed with “Martin Luther King” by Godfrey Hodgson, perhaps because it’s penned by a British biographer and journalist who writes about American politics.
This easy-to-read book broadly covers the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King’s work, both politically and socially. Hodgson includes some of King’s early background in his biography, of course, but the focus is on what happened between King’s early influence and his assassination. Interestingly, Hodgson, who met Dr. King several times during the Civil Rights years, also goes further by giving readers a sense of the aftermath in the years following that day in April, 1968.
And speaking of that day, “Legacy of Secrecy” by Lamar Waldron with Thom Hartmann is a brick of a book (over 800 pages) that asserts that the King assassination was part of a years-long conspiracy.
Waldron and Hartmann also believe that they’ve uncovered inarguable evidence to prove that Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were likewise assassinated on orders from the Mafia, and that ongoing political and international reasons have kept the truth from being told. This book—which includes extensive notes and sources—may surprise you and it may change your opinion of what really happened.
And finally, a treasure can be found in “Through It All” by Christine King Farris, author, teacher, and Dr. King’s sister.
In this wonderful, personal memoir, Farris writes about her life and her recollections. She tells personal stories of her brother as a child; of their beloved parents and the horrible death of their mother; of places, people who set Dr. King on an early path; and of faith, friends and family.
I liked this book, partly because of the warmth it contains, partly because it’s a different look at Dr. King’s life, and partly because of the pictures packed inside.
If you’re looking to celebrate or quietly contemplate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., you can’t go wrong with a book about him. Pick up these books or any others and learn more about this American hero.