Learn About Martin Luther King Jr.’s Impact by Exploring these Books, Documentaries, and Events in Seattle

Looking back on our history, Martin Luther King Jr. stands as a towering figure whose unwavering commitment to justice and equality left an indelible mark on the fabric of American society. As we celebrate the legacy of this iconic civil rights leader, we wanted to share a few resources and Seattle-based events that delve into the complexities of his life, vision, and the transformative movement he spearheaded.

By exploring these works, we can gain a richer appreciation for King’s enduring influence, while fostering dialogue and the realization of his vision for a more just and inclusive society.



Martin Luther King: The Peaceful Warrior

Ed Clayton
An account of the civil rights leader’s life explores his personal struggles to bring social justice and equality to his people through peaceful means.
Available through the Seattle Public Library

Martin Luther King

Coleen Degnan Veness
“Martin Luther King had a dream. He wanted blacks and whites to live together happily. But in America in the 1950s and 1960s, all men were not equal. King led peaceful protests against the government and won changes for the blacks of America. But has King’s dream really come true today?”
Available through the Seattle Public Library

Why We Can’t Wait

Martin Luther King, Jr. with Introduction by Dorothy Cotton
Dr. King’s best-selling account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham during the spring and summer of 1963. Often applauded as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can’t Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by Fred Shuttlesworth, King, and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action. King examines the history of the civil rights struggle and the tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality. The book also includes the extraordinary “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which King wrote in April of 1963.
Available through the Seattle Public Library



Selma (2014)

From the Oscar-winning producers of 12 Years a Slave comes a powerful true story starring David Oyelewo and Oprah Winfrey. Facing violent opposition, Martin Luther King, Jr., led a historic march from Selma to Montgomery, changing the world forever.
Available through the Seattle Public Library

Betty and Coretta (2013)

Starring Mary J. Blige and Angela Bassett. Coretta Scott King and Dr. Betty Shabazz, wives of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, carry on as single mothers after their husbands’ assassinations.
Available through the Seattle Public Library

MLK/FBI (2020)

Based on recently declassified files, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Pollard explores the US government’s surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Available through the Seattle Public Library



MLK Celebration: Seeding the Dream

Sunday, January 14
Join Kitsap ERACE, Living Arts Cultural Heritage Project and more at BIMA for this year’s-youth led and youth-developed Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. We will examine contemporary impacts of Dr. King’s legacy and its inspiration of a new generation of youth leaders, activists, and artists. Featuring poetry, dance, oratory presentations, music, singing, and community voices, this event captures the energy, excitement, and earnest exuberance of modern day dreams of social justice.
Event Details

The 6th Annual Tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Monday, January 15
Includes a free morning program for families & children followed by a ticketed evening program at Edmonds Waterfront Center.
Event Details

King Day 2024 at the Northwest African American Museum

Monday, January 15
Join NAAM for our annual King Day celebration honoring the life, legacy and sacrifice of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Enjoy a day at NAAM full of music, movies, motivational speakers, and activities for the entire family.
Event Details