Martin Luther King, Jr. must be considered one of the most important civil rights leaders of our time. There is no way of mentioning the civil rights movement without referring to him. Moreover, he was recognized as a renowned minister and scholar. Dr. King left an abundance of speeches, sermons, books, articles, and interviews.
His main purpose in life was to acquire equal rights for all people. He evoked praise and criticism from blacks and whites. Some contended that his philosophy inspired violence and disrespect for the law, while others believed that his ideology was too passive to bring about any significant changes in our society.
King preached a philosophy of nonviolence and civil disobedience, which led to numerous marches, rallies, and demonstrations. His actions were greatly responsible for ending many voting irregularities in the South, improving fair housing conditions, abolishing segregated public facilities, and the passage of the Civil Rights Acts.
Since his death, numerous commemorations and celebrations have been held in his honor. His life has inspired movies, the naming of streets, and buildings in his honor, and finally, a national holiday for his deeds in the field of civil and human rights. Dr. King will go down in American history as one of the most intriguing persons of the twentieth century.
The material presented in this work updates the 1977 work by William H. Fisher , Free At Last: A Bibliography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Scarecrow Press). The present volume provides broader coverage of biographical sources and extensive references to remarks in the Congressional Record.
A major feature is the citations of declassified documents compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that detail surveillance on Dr. King from 1962 until the time of his death. These documents allow the researcher to examine King and his involvement with the civil rights movement. Many of these documents were secured illegally through the use of wiretaps and microphones that were secretly hidden in King's hotel rooms.
Many of these documents were considered too sensitive by the Justice Department and were placed in the National Archives until the year 2027. The remainder of these documents are housed at the FBI reading room in Washington, D. C. and are available on microfilm (Garrow David J. ed. The Martin Luther King, Jr. FBI File. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America. 16 microfilm reels with printed guide.)
Through the use of computer literature searches, I was able to . . .