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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:


Adult Books

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin Print, Book Club Kit, eAudio, eBook

The Seminarian by Patrick Parr Print, eAudio, eBook, eAudio

Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr. Print

Coretta: My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King Print, eAudio

To The Promised Land by Michael K Honey Print, eAudio

James Baldwin on book cover
the seminarian
why we cant wait
coretta my love my life my legacy
to the promised land (1)
Young Adult/Teen Books

The Black Friend by Frederick Joseph Print, eBook

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell Print, eBook

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert Print, eBook, eAudio

Dear Martin by Nic Stone Print, Audio, eBook, eAudio

One of the Good Ones by Maika and Maritza Moulite Print, eBook

the black friend
the voting booth
dear martin
one of the good ones
Children’s Books

A Is for Activist By Innosanto Nagara  eBook, Spanish eBook

I am Martin Luther King, Jr By Brad Meltzer Print

Liberty’s Civil Rights Road Trip by Michael W. Waters Print, eBook

We Are The Change by Selina Alko Print

We March by Shane Evans Print

a is for activist
liberty civil rights road trip
we are the change
we march

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). 

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