I enjoyed this audio book that was created from Dr. King's writings and speeches. The narration by Levar Burton is excellent and made even more compelling by the inclusion of some of Dr. King's actual speeches. We hear about the experiences, the moral and philosophical influences, and the circumstances that propelled Dr. King to the forefront of the civil rights movement. We learn why he maintained his commitment to non-violent and racially inclusive demonstrations while other leaders began to advocate separatism and the use of violence, if necessary. His assessment of Malcolm X and his concerns about the decision of other black leaders to make the slogan "Black Power" a prominent part of the movement are highlights.
I was surprised to learn that in the 1960's, Dr. King characterized the U.S. as a society fueled by consumption and that he believed that the inflammatory rhetoric of the vocal opponents of equal rights was intended to create an atmosphere that would provoke an act of violence. Both of these observations appear to have relevance today.
This is not as comprehensive as a biography; there is little about Dr. King's family life after his early years. However, it provides the details about the various strategies developed and implemented (not always successfully) in the different cities where Dr. King led demonstrations and negotiations, as well as the thoughtful considerations behind Dr. King's controversial opposition to the Vietnam War.
There is so much for young and old to learn from "With Ossie and Ruby" about personal character, history, race relations, marriage, and the entertainment industry. Listening was thoroughly delightful because of the extraordinary vocal performances of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee telling their own life stories.
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