I Have a Dream

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Overview

From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing "I Have a Dream" speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.”

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin ...

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Overview

From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing "I Have a Dream" speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.”

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation's history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson's magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation's past. Included with the book is an audio CD of the speech.

A 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Sixteen paintings by Caldecott Honor award winner Kadir Nelson grace this picture book celebration of the August 1963 speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial by Martin Luther King, Jr. Even after almost half a century, the words of this speech can resound in the minds of adults and children alike. Editor's recommendation.

Publishers Weekly
There’s something exhilarating about viewing Nelson’s (Heart and Soul) paintings of Dr. King and the March on Washington while reading the words of the speech King gave that day; it’s hard to imagine a better representation of their historical significance. Nelson pictures King in front of a forest of microphones, his brow furrowed with concentration. “I have a dream today,” he repeats as Nelson shows him in sharp profile—it almost seems possible to feel the warmth of his breath. “With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together,” he continues, accompanied by a painting of two clasped hands, black and white. Though it’s a clichéd image, Nelson’s up-close rendering of the hands gives the picture startling freshness. American landscapes glow, and schoolchildren of every color look viewers in the eye, full of confidence. The speech is lightly edited in a way that makes it understandable for children of any age; a CD of the speech is enclosed. A glorious interpretation of a bedrock moment in 20th-century history. All ages. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Entertainment Weekly, December 5, 2012:
"This picture book stands a notch above others thanks to Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson's beautifully rendered and sincerely moving paintings."

School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012

Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Books 2012

Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012

Starred Review, School Library Journal, November 2012:
“Even after 50 years, this seminal address still has the power to move listeners, and this handsome illustrated version will be welcomed in all collections.”

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, September 24, 2012:
“A glorious interpretation of a bedrock moment in 20th-century history.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2012:
“An award-winning artist captures the passion and purpose of this most notable 20th-century American speech in beautifully realized oil paintings…. A title for remembrance and for re-dedication to the dream.”

Kirkus Reviews
An award-winning artist captures the passion and purpose of this most notable 20th-century American speech in beautifully realized oil paintings. Nelson begins with the concluding paragraphs spoken on August 28th, 1963, with the Lincoln Memorial standing vigil over the massed assemblage. Dr. King's opening paragraphs, with their urgent and specific references to America's broken promises, slavery, discrimination and injustice, along with an acknowledgement of a "marvelous new militancy" are not often quoted; they are specific to the time. The words of his "dream," in contrast, are universal, timeless and still needed. Dr. King evoked Scripture, an American hymn and an African-American spiritual in his sermon. Nelson mirrors that religiosity in his paneled montage of American mountains rising high from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Mississippi and California. His stately portraits of adults and children stand out against white and blue backgrounds as they march, listen and hold hands. A glorious double-spread likeness of Dr. King against a black background imparts both majesty and sorrow. And how perfect that white doves, symbols of hope and faith, soar at the conclusion. The entire speech is reproduced in print and on a CD (not heard). A title for remembrance and for re-dedication to the dream, published in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. (Informational picture book. 5 & up)
Children's Literature - Karen Moroughan
Dr. King's moving speech is peacefully rendered here by a special group of artists. Each of these artists have previously won the coveted Coretta Scott King Award. This award recognizes the gifts that African American authors and illustrators give via their art. But the illustrations are only half of the story. They are woven, warp and weft, within the fabric of Dr. King's speech from August of 1963. With this book, we can hear the words and see the dream with fresh eyes for this is a beautifully rich volume, from its luxurious end-pages, to its back matter. Each illustration captures the spirit of Dr. King's message. The illustrations and text call for our memories of yesterday, the possibilities for today, and a hope for a not-too-distant tomorrow. The volume ends with a tribute to Dr. King. The end matter includes a photograph of Dr. King, a short biography, and signed descriptions of each artist's work. -- Children's Literature
School Library Journal
K Up--Martin Luther King, Jr.'s classic speech is creatively illustrated by 15 Coretta Scott King Award-winning artists. Signed statements from the artists explain the emotions they were tying to capture and why and how they used certain colors and tones. The size and medium of the original art are given. This book evokes the sound of King's voice as it was captured on that historic August day in 1963. Although some pictures are more touching and sobering than others, from cover to cover this is a beautiful book. A foreword by Coretta Scott King is included. A biographical sketch, preceded by a black-and-white photograph, highlights critical events in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life.--Marie Wright, University Library, Indianapolis, IN
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
On August 28, 1963, in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of his most important and quoted speeches known as "I have a dream." In it, King looks beyond the racial turmoil of the day to a future of freedom and justice for African Americans, a time of brotherhood. The speech is printed in its entirety in the back of the book. The enclosed CD is also a recording of the entire speech made by King that day. Nelson has chosen to illustrate just the most famous part, the dream. It concludes with King's exhortation to let freedom ring. All God's children "will be able to join hands and sing...Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" The large pages are used primarily to house realistic close-up oil painted portraits of King and of illustrations taken from the speech that include children, adults, and scenes from nature. The solidity of the representations reinforces the solemnity of the inspirational speech. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2 Up—This splendidly illustrated tribute comes in time to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of Dr. King's historic speech given on August 28, 1963. The full text is appended, though Nelson has chosen to illustrate just the latter portion, beginning with the words, "I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream." The luminous oil paintings employ a variety of techniques-scenes at the Lincoln Memorial have a sweeping impressionistic quality while other spreads employ the artist's signature photorealistic style. From the wraparound jacket featuring a powerful image of Dr. King, Nelson makes good use of the large, square trim size and generous design appropriate to illustrate such a significant moment in the Civil Rights Movement. While putting his own interpretative spin on the iconic words, he remains sensitive to King's intent; for example, several paintings focus on King's hope that all people will someday live in harmony-a theme that runs through the oration. The layout matches the tempo of the words with dramatic spreads resounding with the refrain "I have a dream," and the "Let freedom ring" chorus scenes unfold as a creative series of geographic panels. Even after 50 years, this seminal address still has the power to move listeners, and this handsome illustrated version will be welcomed in all collections. Includes a CD of Dr. King's original speech.—Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375858871
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 92,756
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.42 (w) x 11.14 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was a clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination through nonviolent means. 

KADIR NELSON is the acclaimed illustrator of Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom and Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, both Caldecott Honor books. His other titles include We Are the Ship, a Robert F. Sibert Medal winner and Coretta Scott King Award recipient, and Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African-Americans

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Read an Excerpt

I Have a Dream

Writings and Speeches That Changed the World
By King, Martin Luther, Jr.

Rebound by Sagebrush

Copyright © 1992 King, Martin Luther, Jr.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780613437493

Chapter One

Our Struggle

(1956)


Participation by African American churches in American public life surged in the I 1940s and I 1950s throughout the United States, but especially in the American South. These churches often formed both formal and informal alliances with organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League (NUL) in order to resist Jim Crow. For example, the Reverend Oliver Brown, pastor of the St. Catherine's African Methodist Episcopal Church, allowed his daughter to participate in the NAACP's litigation of the historic Brown v. Topeka, Kansas Board of Education Supreme Court decision of May 17, 1954.

But rather than initiate change, the religious community was often a respondent to crises originating elsewhere. On December 1 , 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks, a forty- two-year -old seamstress, refused to vacate her seat on a public bus so that a white man, as Alabama state law required, could have her seat. The bus driver called the police who immediately arrested Mrs. Parks, a well-known community activist. Four days later, onDecember 5, African Americans began a bus boycott after an evening rally was held. The black community unanimously elected the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as the first president of the Montgomery (Alabama) Improvement Association. This nonviolent organization signaled a new alliance between black institutions such as churches, fraternal orders, professional associations of teachers and doctors, and mass protests. A strong belief in social responsibility and consciousness had permeated a new generation of church leaders who sought to wed religious convictions with the need to change various hypocrisies of American public life. There were many forerunners of this effort. Dr. King himself indicated that he learned much from prior nonviolent resisters such as the Reverend Theodore J. Jemison of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who had led a successful boycott against that city's public bus system as early as 1953, and from the earlier attempts of the Reverend Vernon Johns, who preceded King as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery.

After the African American community of Montgomery, Alabama, proudly walked rather than ride the buses for over eleven months, the United States Supreme Court affirmed a lower court's decision to declare unconstitutional Alabama's segregationist laws that required racial separation on buses. It took another month to force state and local officials to respect the Supreme Court's interpretation of the low. The buses were finally integrated on December 21, 1956.

The following essay, which was published in the religious journal Liberation, is a summary of Dr. King's book, Stride Toward Freedom. It offers a passionate analysis and defense of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This succinct essay was one of the first summaries of the motivations and objectives that eventually led to the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.



The segregation of Negroes, with its inevitable discrimination, has thrived on elements of inferiority present in the masses of both white and Negro people. Through forced separation from our African culture, through slavery, poverty, and deprivation, many black men lost self-respect.

In their relations with Negroes, white people discovered that they had rejected the very center of their own ethical professions. They could not face the triumph of their lesser instincts and simultaneously have peace within. And so, to gain it, they rationalized--insisting that the unfortunate Negro, being less than human, deserved and even enjoyed second-class status.

They argued that his inferior social, economic and political position was good for him. He was incapable of advancing beyond a fixed position and would therefore be happier if encouraged not to attempt the impossible. He is subjugated by a superior people with an advanced way of life. The "master race" will be able to civilize him to a limited degree, if only he will be true to his inferior nature and stay in his place.

White men soon came to forget that the southern social culture and all its institutions had been organized to perpetuate this rationalization. They observed a caste system and quickly were conditioned to believe that its social results, which they had created, actually reflected the Negro's innate and true nature.

In time many Negroes lost faith in themselves and came to believe that perhaps they really were what they had been told they were--something less than men. So long as they were prepared to accept this role, racial peace could be maintained. It was an uneasy peace in which the Negro was forced to accept patiently injustice, insult, injury and exploitation.

Gradually the Negro masses in the South began to reevaluate themselves--a process that was to change the nature of the Negro community and doom the social patterns of the South. We discovered that we had never really smothered our self-respect and that we could not be at one with ourselves without asserting it. From this point on, the South's terrible peace was rapidly undermined by the Negro's new and courageous thinking and his ever-increasing readiness to organize and to act. Conflict and violence were coming to the surface as the white South desperately clung to its old patterns. The extreme tension in race relations in the South today is explained in part by the revolutionary change in the Negro's evaluation of himself and of his destiny and by his determination to struggle for justice. We Negroes have replaced self-pity with self-respect and self-depreciation with dignity.



Continues...

Excerpted from I Have a Dream by King, Martin Luther, Jr. Copyright © 1992 by King, Martin Luther, Jr.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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