Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday designated by Congress in 1994 as a day of service. The holiday falls on the third Monday of January, and will be observed on January 15 this year. Because King’s birthday was January 15, 1929, this year’s day of service falls on what would have been King’s 89th birthday.
The Georgia State University Library has many resources for learning more about King’s life and impact, the broader civil rights movement, and the Civil Rights Movement’s legacy for the 21st century.
On King and his legacy:
- Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Last Interview and Other Conversations (2017)
- Michael L. Clemons, Donathan L. Brown, and William H. L. Dorsey, eds., Dream and Legacy: Dr. Martin Luther King in the Post-Civil Rights Era (2017)
- Coretta Scott King with Barbara Reynolds, My Life, My Love, My Legacy (2017)
- Steven Livingston, Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights (2017)
On the Civil Rights Movement more broadly:
- William Terence Martin Riches, The Civil Rights Movement: Struggle and Resistance (2017)
- John Dittmer, Jeff Kolnick, and Leslie Burl McLemore, eds., Freedom Summer: A Brief History with Documents (2017)
- James Baldwin et al., I Am Not Your Negro (2017; companion edition to the documentary film with the same title. Includes writings by James Baldwin and a transcript of the documentary film. The film itself is available to GSU affiliates
- Robert A. Pratt, Selma’s Bloody Sunday: Protest, Voting Rights, and the Struggle for Racial Equality (2017)
- Sarah Azaransky, This Worldwide Struggle: Religion and the International Routes of the Civil Rights Movement (2017)
- Kent Springs, ed., Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers: Reflections from the Deep South, 1964-1980 (2017; foreword by Marian Wright Edelman)
- I Am Not Your Negro (2017; available to GSU affiliates through the Kanopy database; click here and then click on “Kanopy DDA” to access.)
- The classic civil-rights documentary series Eyes on the Prize is also available through Kanopy; click here for a list of episodes available through Kanopy).
- Kanopy also includes many other films/videos relating to the Civil Rights movement and its legacy. Try searches with terms like “Civil Rights,” “Martin Luther King,” and other relevant names, or locations (“Selma,” “Ferguson,” and so on) to see more titles.
On the legacy of Civil Rights into the 21st Century:
- Kenneth B. Bedell, Realizing the Civil Rights Dream: Diagnosing and Treating Racism (2017; foreword by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.)
- Soyica Diggs Colbert, Black Movements: Performance and Cultural Politics (2017)
- Sandra Ellen Weissinger, Dwayne Mack, and Elwood Watson, eds., Violence Against Black Bodies: An Intersectional Analysis of How Black Lives Continue to Matter (2017)
These are only our newest resources. We have many more resources about King and the Civil Rights Movement.
- To find resources by King in our library type “King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968″ into the search box on the Catalog tab or the Advanced Discover Search box (both on the library’s homepage), and select “Author” from the dropdown menu.
- To find resources about King, try the same search, but select “Subject” from the dropdown menu.
The GSU Library also provides access to a number of databases which include many documents and other materials created as part of the Civil Rights Movement; these databases are accessible to GSU students, faculty, and staff (Campus ID and password needed):
- History Vault: Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century
- Atlanta Daily World, 1931-2003 (Atlanta’s oldest continuously publishing African-American newspaper)
- Chicago Defender, 1910-1975 (most influential African-American newspaper of the 20th-century, with over 2/3 of its readership from outside the Chicago area)
- The Auburn Avenue Research Library (a branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library, adjacent to the GSU campus at the intersection of Courtland Street and Auburn Avenue) has other 20th-century historical African-American newspaper databases available for public use in their building. Click here to learn more about AARL’s database holdings.
These websites are examples of freely available digital collections of similar materials:
- Civil Rights Digital Library (part of the Digital Library of Georgia)
- F.B. Eyes Digital Archive (a digital collection of FBI files on 51 FBI files on prominent African American authors and literary institutions, based at Washington University in St. Louis. Materials included were acquired via the US Freedom of Information Act; see also the related book by William J. Maxwell, F. B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature )
- UmbraSearch (a portal to digital primary sources on African-American history from across the country. A collection of civil-rights videos is prominently linked from their homepage).
- The Digital Public Library of America‘s Activism in America exhibition has resources from the Civil Rights Movement.
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (King Center)
- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
The federal government’s Corporation for National and Community Service website for Martin Luther King Day of Service contains toolkits and other resources for locating and carrying out service projects for January 15.
Please note that the GSU Library will be closed on January 15, but our databases are accessible from off campus with your GSU Campus ID and password.
Featured image (at top) from Corporation for National and Community Service’s Martin Luther King Day of Service site.