Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an occasion that celebrates among other things the power of words.
The man was a Shakespeare for our day.
And so I really like this post by someone who talks about how some good novels lead us, as Wordsworth once put it, “toward obliterating the vulgarity of exclusiveness.” I urge you to check it out. There is a list of 19 books that speak truth to prejudice. The recommendations are far ranging. They include Julie, or the New Heloise by Jean Jacques Rousseau.
Dickens’ Oliver Twist.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.
And, interestingly, Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson.
You may have read one or two of these selections before. Let’s read them again, for their politics as well as their poetry.