Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Civil Rights Book
Yes, I finished reading my fifth read for the month of February 2018! I chose to read the paperback edition of Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr. for so many reasons as follows.

Last month was the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday here in the USA, which was on January 15th. This year, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday actually fell on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have turned 89 years old this year if he was still with us today.

Sadly, it occurred to me over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend that I only had a very basic understanding of who Martin Luther King, Jr. was. I was familiar with Martin Luther King, Jr. as being a Civil Rights Leader and his famous, 'I have a dream' speech. I was also aware that he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and of his assassination on April 4, 1968... Along with a few other basics of his life. So, I was inspired to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life. 

For me personally, I figured I could read all the basic biographical information about Martin Luther King, Jr. I wanted to know about him online. My main interest was learning more extensively about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s views and leadership during the Civil Rights Movement and how he helped to organize and propel this movement forward. 

So, when I came across Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr., I knew this would be the book for me to read and chose to read it during the month of February for Black History Month.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr. I feel like this book is a MUST read book for ALL AMERICANS!! 

Here's what I really enjoyed learning about over the course of reading Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

* Learn the Civil Rights Movement through Martin Luther King Jr.'s words and perspective.
* Read a detailed history of the Civil Rights Movement with special emphasis on Birmingham, Alabama, which in 1963 was the most racially segregated city in the USA at the time. 
* MLK, Jr. goes on to describe why 1963 was the right time for the 'Negro Revolution' to begin and he also emphasized why the Birmingham Campaign was the perfect starting point for this revolution.
* MLK, Jr. also describe's what direct nonviolent action is, why it was used, and why it is so powerful.
* Read MLK's letter from jail in Birmingham, Alabama, which was his response to a published statement by eight clergymen who felt King's activities at the time were 'unwise and untimely'. Not everyone agreed with how to proceed/move forward, which is also discussed in the book
* MLK, Jr. emphasized 'Why We Can't Wait' was so important.
* The afterward by Jesse L. Jackson was also worth the read as well.
* And so much more!

I really learned so much through reading Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr. The information I've learned through reading Why We Can't Wait has only enriched my understanding of American history as it pertains to the Civil Rights Movement.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. I can't help wonder what he would think about America today and the progress we've made moving forward.

I'd also be curious to learn Martin Luther King, Jr.'s thoughts regarding President Donald Trump. President Trump has made many racist, xenophobic, and sexist comments. Last month, in fact, Trump referred to Haiti and African Countries as 'Shithole Countries'. No President of the United States of America should be making such racist comments.

Anyway, I can't help but feel like Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr. is still a relevant book to read today. 

The following is the publisher's summary of Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr. found on Amazon:
In 1963, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States. The campaign launched by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights movement on the segregated streets of Birmingham demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action.

In this remarkable book—winner of the Nobel Peace Prize—Dr. King recounts the story of Birmingham in vivid detail, tracing the history of the struggle for civil rights back to its beginnings three centuries ago and looking to the future, assessing the work to be done beyond Birmingham to bring about full equality for African Americans. Above all, Dr. King offers an eloquent and penetrating analysis of the events and pressures that propelled the Civil Rights movement from lunch counter sit-ins and prayer marches to the forefront of American consciousness.
Since its publication in the 1960s, Why We Can’t Wait has become an indisputable classic. Now, more than ever, it is an enduring testament to the wise and courageous vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Includes photographs and an Afterword by Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
I am giving Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr. a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. Don't wait, read this book!

Until my next post, happy reading!!


  1. Very good! As you can imagine, since I am currently reading my book list for 1963 and writing about that year of my life in my autobiography, I am hungry for learning about this great man. I have read his Letter from a Birmingham Jail in some other context. I would like to read this because it is in his own words.

    1. I think reading the word of Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the things that made this such a great read. MLK Jr. is a very eloquent writer and speaker.

  2. Good for you Lisa, reading and learning ate so empowering. What an incredible man he was. Thank you for your notes as to why you choose to read about MLK.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments with me. I'm glad you enjoyed my review of Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King, Jr.