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Powerful Stories About Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered for his unwavering commitment to justice, his nonviolent approach to adversity, and his dream of equality. The picks on this list showcase those convictions and contextualize them within the U.S. civil rights movement. They inspire important questions about privilege and prejudice, and they highlight the amount of work that still needs to be done. For more stories exploring similar themes, try our lists of Civil Rights Books, TV About Racism and Social Justice, and Black History on the Screen: Activism, Civics & Social Justice.

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I Have a Dream Poster Image
BOOK

I Have a Dream

age 6+

Stunning art amplifies meaning of King's words for kids.

By: Kadir Nelson (2012)
My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster Image
BOOK

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

age 6+

Powerful, personal view of cvil rights leader, issues.

Painting of Coretta Scott King held by three children.
BOOK

She Persisted: Coretta Scott King

age 6+

Inspiring true story of the civil rights legend.

I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.: Ordinary People Change the World Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.: Ordinary People Change the World

age 7+

Kid-friendly bio a strong, accessible intro to King's life.

By: Brad Meltzer (2016)
A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation Poster Image
BOOK

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation

age 8+

Beautiful art adds to deep tale of "I Have a Dream" speech.

By: Barry Wittenstein (2019)
King: Man of Peace in a Time of War Poster Image
MOVIE

King: Man of Peace in a Time of War

age 8+

Inspiring documentary about iconic civil rights activist.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2007)
Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Six Guiding Beliefs (As Told by His Niece) Poster Image
BOOK

Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Six Guiding Beliefs (As Told by His Niece)

age 8+

A heartfelt intro to King's peaceful protest movement.

Our Friend, Martin Poster Image
MOVIE

Our Friend, Martin

age 8+

Dated movie about MLK Jr. offers positive lessons for kids.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1999)
We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest Poster Image
MOVIE

We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest

age 8+

Docu about kids living MLK's legacy gives all the feels.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2020)
Women Who Broke The Rules: Coretta Scott King Poster Image
BOOK

Women Who Broke The Rules: Coretta Scott King

age 8+

A detailed, accessible biography of a civil rights icon.

By: Kathleen Krull (2016)
Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day Poster Image
BOOK

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day

age 9+

Lyrical memoir in verse traces fight for MLK Day.

By: Kathlyn J. Kirkwood (2022)
Martin Rising: Requiem for a King Poster Image
BOOK

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King

age 9+

Powerful poems examine the final months of MLK's life.

Betty & Coretta Poster Image
MOVIE

Betty & Coretta

age 11+

Moving tribute to two civil rights widows' legacies.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2013)
I Have a Dream Poster Image
BOOK

I Have a Dream

age 11+

A treasured speech seen in a vibrant new light.

By: Martin Luther King (1997)
Boycott Poster Image
MOVIE

Boycott

age 13+

Humanizing look at start of civil rights movement.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2001)
Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream Poster Image
MOVIE

Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream

age 13+

Touching tribute to iconic civil rights leader; violence.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2018)
Selma Poster Image
MOVIE

Selma

age 13+

Outstanding drama about MLK's fight for equal rights.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2014)
MLK/FBI Poster Image
MOVIE

MLK/FBI

age 13+

Insightful doc about FBI's relentless campaign against King.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2021)
King in the Wilderness Poster Image
MOVIE

King in the Wilderness

age 13+

Docu examines last years of MLK's life; language, violence.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2018)
Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise Poster Image
TV

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

age 14+

Superb, essential docu illuminates Black American history.

Network: PBS (2016)