MLK Jr Day Legacy Listening
Legacy Listening for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the Day of Service, we’ve gathered a list of audiobooks that commemorate Dr. King’s impact and legacy of nonviolence, community, and recognizing and reforming injustice. For young listeners, there is fact-based historical fiction, a non-fiction story of a girl growing up during the civil rights movement, and an introduction to community care and mutual aid. For adults, a poignant memoir that celebrates the layers of identity, and two guides to educating ourselves and the ones around us.

For Young Listeners

Eleven-year-old Rufus Jackson Jones is from Birmingham, the place Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called the most segregated place in the country. The adults of Birmingham are trying to show that separate is not equal, but if they participate in marches, their bosses will fire them. So Rufus joins thousands of other students to peacefully protest in a park. They’re met with policemen and firemen who turn their hoses on them. In We Were the Fire, Rufus realizes that they are the fire. And they will not be put out.

Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers?

Based on the viral poem by Coretta Scott King honoree Junauda Petru, Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers? is a joyously radical vision of community-based safety and mutual aid, filled with wise and loving grandmothers of all sorts. It is optimistic, provocative, and ultimately centered in fierce love.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Jacqueline Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In Brown Girl Dreaming, she shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s, with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world.

For Adults

Author: Blair Imani
Read By: Blair Imani

Read This to Get Smarter is an approachable audio guide to being an informed, compassionate, and socially conscious person today—from discussions of race, gender, and sexual orientation to disability, class, and beyond. With Blair Imani as your teacher, you’ll be equipped to intelligently and empathetically process, discuss, and educate others on the crucial issues we must tackle to achieve a liberated, equitable world.

In The Black Period, acclaimed poet Hafizah Augustus Geter creates a space for the beauty of Blackness, Islam, disability, and queerness to flourish, celebrating the many layers of her existence that America has time and again sought to erase in this groundbreaking memoir, combining lyrical prose and biting criticism.

Following his internationally bestselling How to Be an Antiracist, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi combines a century of scientific research with a vulnerable and compelling personal narrative of his own journey as a parent and as a child in How to Raise an Antiracist. The chapters follow the stages of child development from pregnancy to toddler to schoolkid to teenager. It is never too early or late to start raising young people to be antiracist.