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This event is co-sponsored by the Brookline Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee.
Vividly written and exhaustively researched, Jonathan Eig’s King: A Life is the first major biography in decades of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.—and the first to include recently declassified FBI files. In this revelatory new portrait of the preacher and activist who shook the world, the bestselling biographer gives us an intimate view of the courageous and often emotionally troubled human being who demanded peaceful protest for his movement but was rarely at peace with himself. He casts fresh light on the King family’s origins as well as MLK’s complex relationships with his wife, father, and fellow activists. King reveals a minister wrestling with his own human frailties and dark moods, a citizen hunted by his own government, and a man determined to fight for justice even if it proved to be a fight to the death. As he follows MLK from the classroom to the pulpit to the streets of Birmingham, Selma, and Memphis, Eig dramatically re-creates the journey of a man who recast American race relations and became our only modern-day founding father—as well as the nation’s most mourned martyr.
In this landmark biography, Eig gives us an MLK for our times: a deep thinker, a brilliant strategist, and a committed radical who led one of history’s greatest movements, and whose demands for racial and economic justice remain as urgent today as they were in his lifetime.
Author Jonathan Eig is a former senior writer for The Wall Street Journal. He is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, including Ali: A Life, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season. Ken Burns calls him "a master storyteller," and Eig's books have been listed among the best of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated, and Slate. He lives in Chicago with his wife and children.
Moderator Randall Kennedy is Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School where he teaches courses on contracts, criminal law, and the regulation of race relations. Awarded the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime, and the Law, Kennedy's other books include For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law (2013), The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency (2011), and Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal (2008). A member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, Mr. Kennedy also writes for a wide range of scholarly and general interest publications.
The Brookline Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee works to express the Town’s commitment to racial equity. Each year the committee puts on a MLK Day Celebration and other events that bring us together to celebrate our diversity, to learn from one another, to better understand how racial injustice divides us, and, most importantly, how we may work together to build a better community for all.