— There have been numerous books written about the
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
have detailed his work as one of the world’s
best-known civil rights leaders.
have examined his writings, philosophy and sermons.
one of his sons wants people to know another side of him
Luther King III has written a children’s book,
"My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," about
his life growing up the son of a famous leader, who
while on the go a lot, managed to still be Daddy to his
four children, Yolanda, Bernice, Dexter and Martin.
55, decided to write a children’s book about his
father, "because that’s where it all
starts," he said during a recent interview at the
Atlanta home he shares with his wife, Arndrea, and
most precious resource, in my personal view, is our
children. So if you can impact the children to
understand that nonviolence can be a way of life, then
you can set a tone for generations yet unborn."
book is "just a small step" in reaching
youths. "Children learn about Martin Luther King
Jr. as a civil rights leader, maybe as a pastor and,
certainly, being a father is mentioned. But my siblings
and I uniquely have the experience of him being our
the book was written awhile ago, it’s being released
just in time for the 50th anniversary of the historic
March on Washington, during which his namesake delivered
the iconic "I Have a Dream" speech in
book is dedicated to his 5-year-old daughter, Yolanda.
She is named after his older sister, who died in 2007.
She is the same age as her father was when the March on
Washington was held. Yolanda and her father will read
the book on Aug. 25 at the Martin Luther King Jr.
Memorial / National Mall. King, a civil and human rights
activist, is one of the organizers of the March on
Washington anniversary events later this month.
who was called "Marty" to distinguish him from
his father, said there were several incidents that
caused him realize that he lived in a nontraditional
clue was the media attention given to him and his older
sister when they and the children of the Rev. Ralph D.
Abernathy were among the first black children to
integrate the Spring Street School. He has vivid
memories of flashbulbs going off and television cameras
dad would also welcome visitors to the King home that
included reporters, other civil rights leaders and
activists such as now-Rep. John Lewis, Stokely
Carmichael and Julian Bond and entertainers like Harry
Belafonte Jr., "who was in and out of our home
quite often." The book contains several stories
about growing up a King such as his sister, Yolanda,
begging to go to Funtown, a local amusement park, and
being told that blacks were not allowed on the roller
coaster and other rides. The elder King even mentions
Funtown in his "Letter From Birmingham Jail."
said his daughter, though she never met her famous
grandfather, whom she calls "Papa King," is
excited about the book, which is illustrated by A.G.
Ford. "Papa King taught us that we should help each
other," she said. And that "skin color does
not matter." King said he may write more children’s
books. And certainly one on his own life and work. He
said he and his wife may also collaborate on projects
down the road, perhaps involving parenting and children.
he said, face unlimited possibilities "where they
can fulfill their own dreams," he said. "Dad
was not just a dreamer, as some would attempt to
relegate him to, but he was a doer. He showed us that we
can achieve our dreams if we focus and work
unrelentingly on them."