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Download Why We Can't Wait Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Why We Cant Wait Audiobook, by Martin Luther King Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Martin Luther King Narrator: J. D. Jackson Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2018 ISBN: 9780807092408
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Dr. King’s best-selling account of the civil rights movement in Birmingham during the spring and summer of 1963

On April 16, 1963, as the violent events of the Birmingham campaign unfolded in the city’s streets, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., composed a letter from his prison cell in response to local religious leaders’ criticism of the campaign. The resulting piece of extraordinary protest writing, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” was widely circulated and published in numerous periodicals. After the conclusion of the campaign and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, King further developed the ideas introduced in the letter in Why We Can’t Wait, which tells the story of African American activism in the spring and summer of 1963. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by King, Fred Shuttlesworth, and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action.

Often applauded as King’s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can’t Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. Disappointed by the slow pace of school desegregation and civil rights legislation, King observed that by 1963—during which the country celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation—Asia and Africa were “moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence but we still creep at a horse-and-buggy pace.”

King examines the history of the civil rights struggle, noting tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality, and asserts that African Americans have already waited over three centuries for civil rights and that it is time to be proactive: “For years now, I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.’”

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Quotes & Awards

  • No child should graduate from high school without having read this book. In telling the story of the third American Revolution, it is as integral to American history as the Declaration of Independence. Jesse Jackson
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About the Author

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968) was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son and grandson of pastors. He graduated from Morehouse College and Crozer Theological Seminary, becoming the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama at age twenty-five. He subsequently earned his PhD from Boston University. In 1957, he and other civil rights leaders founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization he led until his death. A proponent of Gandhian principles of nonviolence, he led many protests and demonstrations for civil rights, including the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 29, 1963, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Winner of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, he continued to fight for civil rights, the eradication of poverty, and the end of the Vietnam War. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

About the Narrator

J. D. Jackson is a theater professor, aspiring stage director, and award-winning audiobook narrator. He is a classically trained actor, and his television and film credits include roles on House, ER, Law & Order, Hack, Sherrybaby, Diary of a City Priest, and Lucky Number Slevin. He is the recipient of more than a dozen Earphones Awards for narration and an Odyssey Honor for G. Neri’s Ghetto Cowboy, and he was also named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year for 2012 and 2013. An adjunct professor at Los Angeles Southwest College, he has an MFA in theater from Temple University.