By Jon Bobadilla, Wenatchee Public Library
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King Jr., “Loving Your Enemies” Sermon, Christmas Day 1957.
On January 17, our nation honors the tremendous impact that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had on our nation. As a devoted pastor and civil rights activist, Dr. King was a champion for peaceful resistance during the American civil rights movement. In his own words, he stated that “…nonviolent resistance is a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love.”
Through numerous marches, sit-ins, and boycotts Dr. King inspired the nation and prompted the US government to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Dr. King was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, at age 35. His tragic death sparked a nationwide movement to recognize his accomplishments through a national holiday. The Congressional Black Caucus fought for fifteen years to make this a reality, and finally succeeded when President Reagan signed a bill into law that made the third Monday of every January into Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
NCW Libraries provides access to resources that chronicle the life of Dr. King, as well as related work from various other civil rights activists. Below are but a few examples:
Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr. Print
Young Adult/Teen Books
Be sure to check out some of the Martin Luther King Jr. documentaries being offered through our online resource, Kanopy! Watch up to 8 films per month. Unlimited Plays on Kanopy Kids and The Great Courses.
Martin Luther King, Jr: I Have a Dream | Key moments from four speeches given by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Emancipation Road: 1963-1968 | A look back at the Civil Rights movement that finally ended segregation.
At The River I Stand | The climax of the civil rights movement.
Freedom Summer | A 1964 voter registration movement in Mississippi, organized by civil rights organizations.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: A Historical Perspective | An exploration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s extraordinary life and impact (endorsed by the King Foundation).