civil rights movement

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights leader who would have turned 84 this year. A federal holiday to honor King, who was assassinated in April 1968, was first observed in 1986. Congress also designated it a national day of service in 1994.


April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.'s death and transformation of America by Michael Eric Dyson

At Canaan's edge: America in the King years 1965-68 by Taylor Branch

The autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by edited by Clayborne Carson

The March on Washington, 1963

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. One of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history, it was the site of Martin Luther King's historic I Have a Dream speech. In a year marked by racial unrest and numerous civil rights demonstations, Dr. King pleaded to "let freedom ring."

Nobody turn me around: a people's history of the 1963 march on Washington by Charles Euchner

Behind the dream: the making of the speech that transformed a nation by Clarence B. Jones and Stuart Connelly

Rosa Parks' 100th Birthday

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. On December 1, 1955 she refused to obey a bus driver's order to give up her seat  to a white passenger, setting off the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This became one of the defining moments of the Civil Rights Movement leading to nationwide efforts to end segregation of public facilities. She eventually moved to Detroit where she lived until her death in 2005.

Rosa Parks: my story by Rosa Parks with Jim Haskins

Rosa Parks by Douglas Brinkley

Great Michigan Read 2011-2012

If you have read Kevin Boyle's Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, the 2011-2012 Great Michigan Read try David Halberstram or Branch Taylor or one of the many documentaries about Civil Rights in America produced over the years.

Faith in the city: preaching radical social change in Detroit by Angela D. Dillard; with a foreword by Charles G. Adams

Race and remembrance: a memoir by Arthur L. Johnson

Sweet land of liberty: the forgotten struggle for civil rights in the North by Thomas J. Sugrue

The children by David Halberstam

Book Club Choices: July 2011

Check out Canton Public Library’s Book Club in a Bag selections:

The help [kit] by Kathryn Stockett

Little Bee [kit] by Chris Cleave

The postmistress [kit] by Sarah Blake

Suite francaise [kit] by Irene Nemirovsky; translated by Sandra Smith

Their eyes were watching God [kit] by Zora Neale Hurston

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