Slideshow :: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. :: His Life and Legacy

NOTE :: Originally a Barnes U Noble University online course I completed Dec. 2001, immediately after the 9-11 tragedy.

Visit today’s: Barnes & – B&N Book Clubs – B&N Book Clubs

Course Description

Of course you know who Martin Luther King, Jr. was. You may even remember a few lines from his most famous speeches — “I Have a Dream” or “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” You may have the day off in honor of his birthday, or be fairly clear that he was the crest, if not the catalyst of the civil rights movement. There’s probably a street named after King in your hometown. He is foremost among Americans in achievement of positive social change. Yet, Martin Luther King, Jr., the man, in all his multidimensional complexity, has been flattened on the pages of history. In this course, you’ll look at King as the whole man. And at the same, learn more about the forces that shape our society and ourselves.
Prerequisites None.


  1. Read excerpts of Martin Luther King’s writings, beyond “I Have a Dream,” that speak to issues of bipartisan politics, economic and social justice, war, and an active faith.
  2. Begin to embrace the contradictions that are often overlooked in most views of King’s life. These paradoxes include his brilliant oratory and his plagiarism, his complete courage and dedication to spiritual ideals and his exuberant sexuality, his love of white people and his recognition of universal white racism, his belief in non-violence and sacrificial love for his people and his vanity, his radical economic and social views.
  3. Consider questions that more clearly define your own moral landscape and that of America.

Course Creator and Instructor: K. Anoa Monsho

K. Anoa Monsho is an Austin, Texas-based freelance writer specializing in health and wellness. She has taught healthy lifestyle and fitness and yoga classes, has studied alternative therapies, and has worked in her community to raise awareness of breast cancer prevention and early detection. She is the mother of one son.

Course Materials:

I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King Jr.
A private citizen who transformed the world around him, Martin Luther King, Jr., was arguably the greatest American who ever lived. Now, after more than thirty years, few people understand how truly radical he was. In this groundbreaking examination of the man and his legacy, provocative author, lecturer, and professor Michael Eric Dyson restores King’s true vitality and complexity and challenges us to embrace the very contradictions that make King relevant in today’s world.

A Testament of Hope The Essential Speeches and Writings of Martin Luther King
Here, in the only major one-volume collection of his writings, speeches, interviews, and autobiographical reflections, is Martin Luther King, Jr. on nonviolence, social policy, integration, black nationalism, the ethics of love and hope, and more.

Additional Materials:

King: A Photobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hundreds of duotone photographs — the best work from dozens of documentary photographers — illuminate the arc of King’s transcendent life. Coupled with original text by National Book Award-winning author Charles Johnson, the standout images in this stunning coffee-table book make for a visual feast interwoven with an impassioned biography. Brilliantly presented, King’s story, message, and times come alive.

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Destined to become a classic, this powerful and inspirational autobiography of America’s greatest civil rights leader calls upon Stanford University’s voluminous collection of archival material, including Dr. King’s previously unpublished writings, public and private interviews, audio and video recordings, and personal correspondence.

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963
Branch took home multiple honors — including the Pulitzer Prize — for this sweeping examination of America, race, and the emerging Civil Rights effort. King is very much of his age, yet ahead of the times. Epic in scope, rich in detail, Parting the Waters is Branch’s first volume of a planned trilogy on King.

Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-1965
In Pillar of Fire, the second volume of his America in the King Years trilogy, Taylor Branch portrays the civil rights era at its zenith. The first volume, Parting the Waters, won the Pulitzer Prize for History.