Coming Soon!
Martin Luther King Jr.
A Life in American History
by Jamie J. Wilson
September 2023, 257pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6400-1
$68, £53, 60€, A94
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6401-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and numerous other awards, King left a legacy that reminds readers of how one individual can challenge and change structures of inequality.

Captures the story of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and lasting contributions to civil rights, social justice, and American history.

This indispensable resource explores the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr. and includes a robust biographical narrative that discusses his early life and adult ministry from the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956 to the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike in 1968.

The book goes beyond the typical biography by exploring King’s achievements within the context of American history. Chapters are organized chronologically, and a supplementary chapter, “Why King Matters,” explores King’s cultural and historical significance. Carefully curated “Cultural Connections” are placed throughout the text to help students connect the dots between the subject and the larger context of social, political, intellectual, and pop culture in American history. The work also provides a detailed timeline and primary document excerpts.


  • Synthesizes the latest secondary sources exploring King’s legacy
  • Includes excerpts of primary sources written to and by King, enabling a fuller comprehension of his influence and work
  • Places King within the dynamic and volatile political environments of the 1950s and 1960s
Jamie J. Wilson is a professor of history at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. He is author of Civil Rights Movement and The Black Panther Party and editor of 50 Events That Shaped African American History.

Black History Lives

This biography series explores the lives of the most iconic figures in African American history, with material that supports state standards while highlighting the subject’s significance in our contemporary world. Each volume includes a narrative of the life of each subject, a chapter on the subject’s larger cultural and historical significance, a chronology, a comprehensive bibliography, and sidebars that offer pertinent cultural connections to the worlds of social, political, intellectual, and popular culture. An appendix of primary document excerpts rounds out each volume. Readers of the Black History Lives series will gain a greater understanding of the outside events and influences that shaped each subject’s world, from familial relationships to political and cultural developments.


Series foreword Biographical narrative chapters Why X Matters chapter that explores the subject’s importance within the context of American history Timeline Bibliography Primary Source Documents “Cultural Connections” Sidebars Index
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