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MLK Reading List

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Vincent Harding

“In this prophetic work Dr. King lays out his thoughts, plans, and dreams for America's future, including the need for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, and quality education.”

 

Why We Can’t Wait

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jesse Jackson

“An eloquent and penetrating analysis of the events and pressures that propelled the Civil Rights movement from lunch counter sit-ins and prayer marches to the forefront of American consciousness.”

 

Strength to Love

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Dr. King articulated and espoused in a deeply personal compelling way his commitment to justice and to the intellectual, moral, and spiritual conversion…”

 

A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and James M. Washington

“The only major one-volume collection of this seminal twentieth-century American prophet's (Dr. MLK, Jr.) writings, speeches, interviews, and autobiographical reflections.”

 

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

Malcolm X and Alex Haley

“Fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time.”

 

Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change

Stacey Abrams

“A personal and empowering blueprint―from one of America’s rising Democratic stars―for outsiders who seek to become the ones in charge.”

 

Tremé: Race and Place in a New Orleans Neighborhood

Michael Crutcher Jr. and Andrew Herod

“Takes up a wide range of issues in urban life, including highway construction, gentrification, and the role of public architecture in sustaining collective memory.”

 

Twenty-First-Century Jim Crow Schools

Raynard Sanders, David Stovall, and Terrenda White

“Explores how charter schools have shaped the educational landscape and why parents, teachers, and community members are fighting back.”

 

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Government Segregated America

Richard Rothstein

“Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or unintended consequences of economic forces--describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation.”

 

Women, Race, & Class

Angela Davis

“A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.”

 

The Warmth of Other Suns

Isabel Wilkerson

“Chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.”

 

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Isabel Wilkerson

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

 

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of the Racial Divide

Dr. Carol Anderson

“Pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage.”