Martin Luther King, Jr.
On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation's history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson's magificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation's past.
Might Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatest accomplishments have been ahead of him? His murder in April 1968 did far more than cut tragically short the life of one of America's most remarkable civil rights leaders. In this concise biography, Harvard Sitkoff presents a stunningly relevant King. The 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, King's 1963 soul-stirring address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and the 1965 history-altering Selma march are all recounted. But these are not treated as predetermined high points in a life celebrated for its role in a civil rights struggle too many Americans have quickly relegated to the past. Carefully presented alongside King's successes are his failures—as an organizer in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida; as a leader of ever more strident activists; as a husband. Together, high and low points are interwoven to capture King's lifelong struggle, through disappointment and epiphany, with his own injunction: "Let us be Christian in all our actions." By telling King's life as one on the verge of reaching its fullest fulfillment, Sitkoff powerfully shows where King's faith and activism were leading him—to a direct confrontation with a president over an immoral war and with an America blind to its complicity in economic injustice.
Old Memories, New Moods contains essays on the roots of African American protest, comments on the background and character of the Negro Revolt and the Civil Rights Movement, interpretations of the impact and significance of Black Power, and, finally, varied views on changing self-images and the meaning of Black Pride. Original essays written especially for this book include those by Mina Davis Caulfield, August Meier and Elliott Rudwick, Gerald W. Mullin, and the editor. Many other essays by black and white social scientists, psychiatrists, historians, and political figures are offered in careful juxtaposition. Among these contributors are anthropologists Melville J. Herskovits and Ulf Hannerz; social historians Raymond and Alice Bauer, Winthrop D. Jordan, Eugene D. Genovese, Kenneth Stampp, and Stanley Elkins.
Conceived as a continuum with volume one, reissued by Transaction earlier, each of the two volumes is distinct and self-contained. The first is particularly concerned with general background and life styles, and the second with protest and attempts to develop new communal activities and avenues of expression. Both should be most useful to all concerned with teaching and learning about African Americans in the United States, be it in traditional social science or history programs, in special seminars, or in African American studies courses.
Peter I. Rose is Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology at the Louise W. and Edmund J. Khan Liberal Arts Institute and a member of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Massachusetts. He has been a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Leicester in England, at Kyoto University in Japan, and at the Flinders University in Australia.
Widely acclaimed as a founding father of modern black protest, Rustin reached his pinnacle of notoriety in 1963 as organizer of the March on Washington. Long before the March on Washington and King's ascendance to international prominence, Rustin put his life on the line to challenge racial segregation. His open homosexuality, however, remained a point of contention among black church leaders, with controversy sometimes embroiling even King himself.
Time on Two Crosses showcases the extraordinary career of this black gay civil rights pioneer. Spanning five decades, the book combines classic texts ranging in topic from Gandhi's impact on African Americans, white supremacists in Congress, the antiwar movement, and the assassination of Malcolm X, with never-before published selections on the call for gay rights, Louis Farrakhan, affirmative action, AIDS, and women’s rights.