MLK Jr.’s Detroit Dream: Memoir of a Civil Rights Foot Soldier is an autobiography of an African American black girl who was indoctrinated into the civil rights movement at the age of eight when Dr. Martin L King Jr., the freedom icon, marched in Detroit during the summer of 1963. The memoir puts, in chronological order from a child’s point of view, the events, major personalities, triumphs, and tragedies in American history from the time of the Detroit Dream March in 1963 until Dr. King’s tragic death in 1968.
This book was inspired by young children who were mesmerized by the oral recitation of author Sharon Elizabeth Sexton’s memory of when Dr. King came to Detroit and delivered his first version of the “I Have a Dream” speech. “Children do like history if they feel they can be a part of it,” Sexton discovered and put the story into written form as the memories came back while writing. Sexton realized that she and her baby boom generation of the 1950s went through a lot of life-changing history between the time Dr. King first talked about his dream for the children of America and his untimely death.
In recent history, American youth are once again witnessing life-changing social circumstances. Many of the youth don’t realize that their grandparents, who were part of the baby boom generation, were faced with similar issues. This book can be used by multiple generations to bring up similarities, talking points, generate conversations, and provide teaching moments that will bring the different generations of family, community, and nation together to talk about African American history and current events.