Four books that have been long out of print by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will be published again under a deal with Beacon Press brokered by King's youngest son.
In a statement, Dexter King called the deal "an historic partnership."
"Beacon Press will be a dedicated public outlet for his work and will help bring his urgently needed teachings of nonviolence and human dignity, and his dream of freedom and equality to a new global audience," said Dexter King, chairman of his father's estate.
Beacon, a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association, publishes books on social justice, human rights and racial equality. Among the authors it has published are James Baldwin, Derrick Bell, Cornel West, Howard Thurman, Marian Wright Edelman and Roger Wilkins.
On Jan. 18, 2010 — the federal holiday observing what would have been King's 80th birthday — the Boston-based publisher will release new editions of several of King's most important works, which have been unavailable for nearly two decades, including:
- "Stride Toward Freedom," first published in 1958, King's memoir of the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and 1956;
- "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?," first published in 1967, King's last book and an analysis of the state of American race relations and the movement after a decade of U.S. civil rights struggles;
- "Trumpet of Conscience," first published in 1968, containing five lectures King gave in 1967;
- "Strength to Love," first published in 1963, a volume of his most well-known homilies and the book in the civil rights leader's briefcase when he was killed on April 4, 1968.
Under the agreement — called "The King Legacy" — Beacon will also compile King's writings, sermons, lectures and prayers into new editions with introductions by leading scholars. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.