Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observed in the United States

Every year, in the United States, a special day is set aside in January in order to celebrate the birthday of this great man. His memory shall never be erased in the annals of history. 

King was the charismatic leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, and was born on January 15, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968.   A Baptist minister, he followed the nonviolent example of Mahatma Ghandi, and, like him, ironically died a violent death.

Dr. King's famous speech, "I Have a Dream", which he delivered at the 1963 Washington, D.C. Civil Rights March, rallied every citizen who truly believed in racial equality. His stirring speeches have been gathered into one volume, titled A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The posts I've done for this day in previous years have focused on Dr. King's literary legacy, as he authored some very important books on the movement he led so well.

This year, I'd like to offer a list of books dealing with the topics of racism, slavery, and civil rights. 

To access information about each book, click on each picture. Here they are!

I'm currently doing a buddy read of this book with a blogger friend, Barb @ Booker T's Farm. If you'd like to know more about this, click HERE!

This novel is rather poignant, because the main character, Justyce McAllister, inspired by the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., actually starts keeping a journal in which he addresses Dr. King directly.

This book was the first science fiction novel written by an African-American woman, and is a fascinating combination of time travel, slave memoir, and historical fiction.

This novel incorporates the Civil Rights Movement, and is funny and engaging. The film version was not only hailed by the public, but by critics, as well, grossing over $216 million worldwide. It also won four Academy Award nominations. (Source: Wikipedia) The novel has won several literary awards.

This novel is a 2016 selection of Oprah's Book Club. The author has created a REAL Underground Railroad in this novel, with tracks and tunnels  running beneath the ground in the Southern states. This book won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

This one incorporates magical realism, with paranormal elements, and reminds me a bit of Beloved, by Toni Morrison.

I have not read this novel, but I HAVE seen the film version, and it was truly a HARROWING experience! The stars were Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. The message of the book and film detail the horrors of slavery, and how these affect the characters, especially Sethe (Oprah Winfrey), the female protagonist.

The book won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

These are all books that deal with the unique and painful reality of the Black experience, told by different authors, from different angles. They are important books to read, especially as we honor the legacy of one man who dared to start a revolution -- without violence -- and himself was a victim of violence as a result. 

We must carry this man's message forward, so that one day, that dream he spoke of so beautifully will truly become a reality! 

Famous Dr. King Quotes
"I have a dream that my four little children
will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color
of their skin, but
by the content of their character."

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that."

"The ultimate measure of a man  is not
where he stands in moments
of comfort and convenience, but
where he stands at times of challenge
and controversy."

"Our lives begin to end the day
we become silent about things that matter."

"I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear."

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Online Links


  1. Thanks for posting this Maria. Martin Luther King and his Legacy are so important to America and to the world.

    This seems like such an interesting and worthy bunch of books. I want to read them all.

    I had forgotten about Kindred. I will really try to get to that one this year.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      You're very welcome!! <3 <3

      Martin Luther King definitely left a legacy of great importance to the world! And he took Ghandi as an example for his own work. How very sad that both of them ended up being assassinated....and how ironic, too, since they both preached non-violence.

      As you know, in past years, I've put up a bio of King, as well as pictures and information of some of his books. This year, I decided to do things a little differently. I still included some information on him, but I also included novels pertaining to slavery, racism, and civil rights. I thought that would be an interesting new take on this highly important day. I left the King quotes and links in this post, though. After all, King is the inspiration for these books!

      I want to read all of these, too! Well, I'm already reading one -- "The Hate U Give".

      Yes, "Kindred" is ESPECIALLY important, since it's the first SF novel written by an African=American woman. Hmmmm....maybe we could do a buddy read on it.... :)

      Thanks for the great comment!! Hope you're having a nice day, remembering Dr. King! <3 :)

  2. I’ve read all but the last two on your list. They are indeed very good. The Help is currently on the booklist for our Year 10 English students. There is one scene where Minnie, one of the two maids who are the main characters, spots a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird by her employer’s bedside. Minnie is the woman who keeps getting fired because she WILL NOT humbly shut up. Then she gets a job with a woman who is decent enough, but is shunned by the other white women as “white trash”. That’s the one reading Harper Lee!

    1. Hi, Sue!

      So sorry for the very late reply..... :( Things have been very hectic around here recently.

      I've heard that "The Help" was EXCELLENT -- both the book and the movie. And it's interesting that the author referenced "To Kill A Mockingbird" in this novel.

      From this list, I have now read the first one -- "The Hate U Give". I would like to read the rest of this list.

      Thanks for commenting!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  3. A great post, Maria - I've read Beloved - a beautiful, terrible novel that is one of the most memorable books I've ever read... I also very much enjoyed both the book and film of The Help.

    1. Hi, Sarah!

      First off, I apologize for the delay in replying.....:( I have been INCREDIBLY busy in "the real world"....

      Yeah, "Beloved" was more than just heart-wrenching; it was actually HORRIFYING. And I only saw the movie....I wonder if I'd be able to read the book....

      I've heard GREAT things about both versions of "The Help" -- the book and the movie. I want to enjoy both!

      Thanks for the compliment!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


THIS IS NOW AN AWARD-FREE, AND TAG-FREE BLOG. Thanks for the compliment, though! : )

As of today, 9/23/18, I have permanently enabled comment moderation, due to a sudden rash of SPAM comments. I appreciate your patience!

Thanks for your thoughts on my posts! I always reply here, as well as comment back on your blog. Have a WONDERFUL day!! :)