10 24 2014
  6:36 am  
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"Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King Jr. & the Jewish Community"
By Rabbi Marc Schneier
Jewish Lights Publishing, $24.95

Shared Dreams brings to life the impressive, surprising and long-neglected history of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s efforts in support of the Jewish community.
At critical moments in the life of the American Jewish community, of Israel and of the plight of Soviet Jews, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stepped in as an advocate to speak out for the human and civil rights of Jews. His efforts to support world Jewry — within the constraints of his primary role in the civil rights movement — cannot be forgotten. Indeed, they must be remembered.
Rabbi Marc Schneier presents the full story of the Rev. King's involvement with the Jewish community. With the use of previously unpublished material and interviews with those who marched at the Rev. King's side, the long-neglected story of mutual support and cooperation between the Rev. King and the Jewish community is brought to life.
It is a story that will shed new light on the commitment and the relationship between the Jewish and African American communities as they have struggled together to fight for justice and civil rights for our nation. Even more, it is a story that encourages all of us — people of all faiths, all backgrounds — to continue to fight for justice in our world.

"The Dream: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation"
By Drew Hansen
HarperCollins, $23.95

Forty years ago, the Rev. King electrified the nation when he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. King's prophetic utterances started the long overdue process of changing America's idea of itself. His words would enter the American lexicon, galvanizing the civil rights movement, becoming a touchstone for all that the country might someday achieve.
The Dream is the first book about the Rev. King's legendary speech. Opening with an enthralling account of the August day in 1963 that saw 250,000 Americans converge at the March on Washington, The Dream delves into the fascinating and little-known history of King's speech. Hansen explores King's compositional strategies and techniques and proceeds to analyze the speech itself. He examines it on various levels: as a political treatise, a work of poetry and as a masterfully delivered and improvised sermon bursting with biblical language and imagery.
In tracing the legacy of "I Have a Dream" since 1963, The Dream insightfully considers how King's incomparable speech "has slowly remade the American imagination," and led us closer to King's visionary goal of a redeemed America.


"Hard Questions, Heart Answers: Speeches and Sermons"
By Bernice King
Broadway paperback, $12.95

The Rev. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, is an ordained minister, an attorney and public speaker. As this collection of her sermons and speeches makes clear, she shares with her father a gift for oratory and the ability to inspire others.
The collection begins with words designed to "disturb the comfortable." Tackling such controversial subjects as disaffected youth, gun control and the death penalty, King paints a compelling picture of the spiritual decay and deep-seated racism that infects our society.
In the second part of the book, a selection of sermons focusing on "comforting the disturbed," King's belief in the power of faith to restore our communities, morally and spiritually, rings forth. The church, she asserts, must return to its helping and healing mission, and each of us, looking into our hearts, must put aside our differences and remember that each human life is precious.
"It's morning time. The alarm clock has already gone off and we've worn out the snooze button. It's time to get up, turn off the alarm clock and start a new day. Weeping time is over. And I don't know about you, but I'm tired of weeping. I'm tired of weeping over the murder of Black boys. I'm tired of weeping over the abuse of young children.
"I'm tired of weeping over the sexual exploitation of women. I'm tired of weeping about the economic exploitation of a powerless people. ... I'm tired of weeping over racial arrogance and racial ignorance. Wake up, people. It's morning time. It may seem that we haven't gained much ground since we lost the Rev. King, but we've made it this far by keeping our faith, by leaning on the Lord."

"Children of the Dream: Our Own Stories of Growing Up Black in America"
By Laurel Holliday
Pocket Books, $24

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a day when Black children were judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. His eloquent charge became the single greatest inspiration for the achievement of racial justice in America. In her powerful fourth book in the Children of Conflictseries,Laurel Holliday explores how far we have come as she presents 38 African Americans who share their experiences as Children of the Dream.
The people we hear from are young and old, rich and poor, from inner cities, suburbia and rural America. In chronicles that are highly personal, funny, tragic and triumphant, the contributors tell us what it is like coming of age stigmatized by the color of their skin, yet proud of their heritage and culture.
Their voices, their courage, their resilience and their understanding offer hope for us all.

"The Day Martin Luther King Jr. Was Shot: A Photo History of the Civil Rights Movement"
By Jim Haskins
Scholastic, $14.15

This well-illustrated chronicle of African American resistance uses drawings and photographs to trace the history of the civil rights movement from the American Revolution to the present.
Readable and attractive, Haskins' clearly written text and archival black-and-white photographs trace the difficult road to equal rights for African Americans from the earliest days of the slave trade, through the desegregation battles, to the day Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot, which Haskins dubs the "end of the civil rights era."
The book contains accounts of courageous people, Black and White, such as abolitionists, students who integrated formerly White schools, the demonstrators who sat-in at a lunch counter in Greensboro in 1960, and civil rights workers who were murdered in Mississippi in 1964.

"A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr."
By Clayborne Carson & Peter Holloran
Warner Books audio, $20

King's bedrock faith is the centerpiece of this examination of his sermons. In the pulpit, King articulated a vision, one that he courageously defended by his actions. Individual sermons are placed within the context of their times, and luminaries such as Billy Graham and Desmond Tutu provide commentary.
With fiery words of wisdom and a passion for justice, the Rev. King inspired people everywhere to extraordinary acts of courage. He ignited one of the most influential movements of the 20th century. This is the definitive collection of 11 of his most powerful sermons, from his earliest known audio recording to his last sermon, delivered days before his assassination. With introductions by renowned theologians and ministers including the Rev. Billy Graham and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, filled with moving personal reflections and firsthand accounts of the events surrounding each sermon. A Knock At Midnight is the Rev. King's living voice today, an irresistible call that resonates and inspires the greatness in us all.

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