Books Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made a huge impact with his I Have a Dream speech, but we still have a long way to go. Here are four books that may have been inspired by Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech to inspire you.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is one of the most influential people in the United States’ history. He continues to inspire people today as we learn about his experiences and listen to him speak. One speech, in particular, has had an enormous impact on the people of this country.

Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech brought more attention to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. We still have a lot to do to achieve Dr. King’s dream. In the meantime, here are four books that may have been inspired by his I Have a Dream speech to inspire you.

1. Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith


Danez Smith’s beautiful poetry collection imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police where they get the longevity, love, and safety they never got here on Earth. Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Smith imagines a world where we can be at peace and live without always looking over our shoulders waiting for the next tragedy.

2. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankin


Claudia Rankin’s book is one of tempered hope as her lyrical poetry, essays, and imagery documents and pays homage to the lives shaped by racism. The follow-up to her groundbreaking book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric, Citizen reveals the day-to-day challenges of someone who is black.

3. The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison


Another beautiful collection from Toni Morrison, including essays, poetry, and meditations about society, culture, and art. These pieces were written throughout Morrison’s forty-year career. Cut up in three sections, this collection begins with a prayer for those lost during 9/11. Then goes onto a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr. and finishes with a eulogy for forever loved James Baldwin. Taking on social issues and culture, Morrison opens her readers’ eyes to the truths around them.

4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


In this book for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates reveals the past, confronts the present, and offers a divine vision for the future. Coates answers all the toughest questions and shares the truth behind his place in this world. A beautiful weave of personal narrative, reportage, and reimagined history, Coates shares the story he wrote for his son.