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January 12, 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr. Audio & Video


When people ask me "Why audiobooks?" there are a few common responses that I'll give. It's a great alternative or supplement to reading. You can listen while you're driving or at the gym. Sometimes it's easier to remember what you hear than what you read. But there's one another one that's really powerful:

Some listening experiences just can't be duplicated in print.

Probably the best example I can give of this is listening to A Knock at Midnight, an outstanding collection of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sermons. I mean I guess you could read these but I doubt that it would move you the way listening to King himself preach would. When I flip this on my iPod (something I find myself increasingly doing) I almost immediately get goosebumps. I'm not sure quite what it is about King's preaching that does that to me.

As most of you here in the United States know, Monday is Martin Luther King Day. For many people it's just another freebie holiday that they probably won't think twice about. And that's a shame. Because it's an awesome opportunity to learn more about an amazing man who has done so much in the struggle for justice and equality here in the U.S. and around the world.

We put the finishing touches on MLK Out Loud, an attempt on our part to bring together all of the audio and video content from or about King that we could find. There is a ton of great stuff linked from the page including biographies, documentaries, collections of sermons and of course King's stirring "I Have a Dream" speech. We've tried to find as many free audio and video resources as we could too knowing that there are a lot of teachers who would love to use them to relay the power of King's message to their classes.

I wanted to say a special thank you to American Rhetoric which hosts several of King's speeches for free. If you have a minute, drop Michael Eidenmuller who runs the site a quick line and tell him thanks.

In the "I Have a Dream" speech King talks about a faith that he has. In his words:

With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

It's a faith we need more of in this day and age when King's message of brotherhood is as relevant as it has ever been.

Take some time this long holiday weekend to listen to one of his King's speeches or order one of his audio books. It's a great way to celebrate his legacy and a powerful way to learn more about the man who has touched so many lives.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

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