This Week's Read: The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

My goal for Monday posts about books and recommendations is simply to toss some titles out that have impacted me lately, and maybe let something hit your radar that you might not have considered before. {Affiliate links where appropriate.}

Every summer quite a lot of folks in our church read a biography together. Typically it's chosen by the pastoral staff and woven into a sermon or just discussed here and there as the opportunity arises. Because of mounting racial tensions in the United States and a desire to respond as Christ would, we read The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. this past summer.

More accurately, I listened. The audio version is read by Levar Burton, and where the editors could find an original recording, the actual voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was included. Between Levar's passionate reading and the speeches of King, I really enjoyed the audio version.

As for content, I was taken aback by the relevance of King's life, work, and words to where we are in America in 2017. This isn't a book for then; this is a book for now. If you have older children (jr. high and older), this would make a great read aloud; there isn't questionable content for younger ears, but I don't think a younger listener would be interested enough for it to make an impact.

As a born and bred California girl raised by parents who have no history of racial bigotry and certainly never imparted it, I have a really difficult time understanding racism, and I am shocked and stunned by the behaviors that accompanied segregation during the last mid-century. But that doesn't mean I am immune to my own brand of racism, even if I'm not aware of it, and reading a work like The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. helps me to uncover those areas and to maybe have some inkling of the plight and history of my black brothers and sisters. 

Dr. King loved Jesus and the gospel passionately. That's more than enough for me to say, "Hey! Let's listen in closely. Our brother in Christ has something to say."

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. -Galatians 3:28