The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pivotal player in the fight for Civil Rights. This autobiography includes the story of his life written in his own words and pieces of his speeches.  

I read the audiobook version which is read by LeVar Burton and includes audio clips of King giving some of his famous speeches. It was powerful to hear the words from his own mouth, but sometimes those segments were harder to understand because of the quality of the recording and the clapping and cheering of the crowds.

It was heartbreaking to hear about King’s struggle with the continuous threats against himself and his family. Living in fear of imminent death affected his decisions. He writes about the bus strike, his time in jail, the march to Washington D.C. and more. I liked learning about his father and his wife’s role in the Civil Rights fight as well. Both played important roles in helping MLKJ become the man he needed to be to take on this fight.

One of the hardest parts of the Civil Rights movement was finding a balance between the goals of all the different groups involved. He was asked to support so many different causes and politicians and it was difficult to decide which ones to back. He also advocated nonviolence in a time when violence seemed to be the only answer. His courage was infectious and deciding not to fight gave others the guts to do the same.

BOTTOM LINE: I loved learning about King’s life and work, but the format made the book difficult. It switches back and forth between his biography and his speeches. Also, the audio version switches between LeVar Burton’s narration and MLKJ’s actual speeches, this is powerful but it changes the flow of the book significantly. A good read, but it’s not a true autobiography.

**During a recent trip to Atlanta the Huz and I visited The King Center, which includes his childhood home and church. The photos throughout this post were taken at the center.

Photos by moi. 


Sandy Nawrot said...

I definitely wouldn't suffer for knowing more about the man. I mean, everyone learns about his impact on our lives, but I'm sure the details are fascinating. If I do pick it up, I will make sure and get a print version.

Unknown said...

LeVar Burton would be an interesting reader. Sounds like a good read. i will have to check it out.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - I did like learning more about his background. He had some really strong family members supporting him.

Tiffany - I would definitely read an audiobook read by him again. He was good!