AFSCME Information Center

The Information Center is AFSCME’s library, brought to you by staff librarians in the Research & Collective Bargaining Services Department.

Featured Resources from the AFSCME Information Center in Recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


Find out more about featured book picks recommended by AFSCME’s librarians and Dr. Will P. Jones, the Jerry Wurf Memorial Fund Scholar-in-Residence at AFSCME. Any IU employee based in DC can check out books. For more options: 

  • Visit the collaborative space on the 6th floor of 1625 L St to browse our special collection of featured books about Dr. King and the civil rights movement. 
  • Download a full list of books in the AFSCME Information Center’s collection about Dr. King. 
  • Search the library catalog.
  • Ask a librarian for more recommendations or research help about this or any other topic. Learn more about our services.

DR. KING and afscme hiSTORY

At left: Read the April 1968 edition of The Public Employee, AFSCME’s national magazine including an editorial honoring Dr. King upon his death (excerpt featured at left, or access the full PDF). You can search our digital collection of all of the editions of AFSCME’s magazine from 1937-2016 on AFSCME Search, or browse original hard copies in the library.  

At right: The AFSCME Search video archive contains digitized versions of many videos throughout AFSCME history as well as an online version of At the River I Stand, a recounting of the two months leading to the death of the Dr. King in 1968 coinciding with the Memphis sanitation strike. You can also borrow a DVD copy from the library.

Need an AFSCME Search account? Click ‘Register as a New User’ on the homepage, or contact a librarian for help. 

Check out the I Am A Man Digital Exhibit on the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike created by the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs (the home of AFSCME’s official archive). You can also view the Reuther Library’s full collection of images and artifacts related to Dr. King and the strike


To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice

Author: Honey, Michael K. Publication Date: 2018 Call Number: E 185.97 .K5 H59 2018

Fifty years ago, a single bullet robbed us of one of the world’s most eloquent voices for human rights and justice. To the Promised Land goes beyond the iconic view of Martin Luther King, Jr., as an advocate of racial harmony, to explore his profound commitment to the poor and working class and his call for “nonviolent resistance” to all forms of oppression, including the economic injustice that “takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.” … To the Promised Land challenges us to think about what it would mean to truly fulfill King’s legacy and move toward his vision of “the Promised Land” in our own time.

April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and How It Changed America

Author: Dyson, Michael Eric Publication Date: 2008 Call Number: E 185.97 .K5 D97 2008

On April 4, 1968, at 6:01 p.m., while he was standing on a balcony at a Memphis hotel, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and fatally wounded. Only hours earlier King ended his final speech with the words, “I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.” Acclaimed public intellectual and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson examines how King fought, and faced, his own death, and how America can draw on his legacy in the twenty-first century. April 4, 1968 celebrates the leadership of Dr. King, and challenges America to renew its commitment to his vision.

King and the Other America: The Poor People’s Campaign and the Quest for Economic Equality

Author: Laurent, Sylvie Publication Date: 2018 Call Number: HN 90 .S6 L35 2018

A neglected and obscured episode of the late Civil Rights movement, The Poor People’s Campaign, designed by King in 1967 and carried out after his death, brought together impoverished Americans of all races to demand better wages, better jobs, better homes, and better education. He believed that not only a fight for rights but the radical distribution of wealth had to be demanded through interracial protest. … Fifty years later, growing inequality and grinding poverty in the United States have spurred new efforts to rejuvenate the campaign. This book is essential to understanding today’s movement through King’s radical, intellectual thought and his struggle for genuine equality for all.

Redemption: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last 31 Hours

Author: Rosenbloom, Joseph Publication Date: 2018 Call Number: E 185.97 .K5 R598 2018

An “immersive, humanizing, and demystifying” (Charles Blow, New York Times) look at the final hours of Dr. King’s life as he seeks to revive the non-violent civil rights movement and push to end poverty in America. … Redemption is an intimate look at the last thirty-one hours and twenty-eight minutes of King’s life. King was exhausted from a brutal speaking schedule. He was being denounced in the press and by political leaders as an agent of violence. He was facing dissent even within the civil rights movement and among his own staff at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In Memphis, a federal court injunction was barring him from marching. As threats against King mounted, he feared an imminent, violent death. The risks were enormous, the pressure intense.


Learn about Dr. King’s legacy


Questions for the AFSCME Information Center? Schedule an appointment with a librarian, drop by to browse our collection, submit this form to ask a question or contact us individually. Learn more about our services.

Beth Vernaci
Research Librarian

Lindsay Shapray
Research Librarian

Kendra Gale
Research Librarian

Mark Murphy
Assistant Director, RCBS