Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 12:09 UK

King works return to bookshelves

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in 1968

Books written by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, which have not been available for nearly 20 years, are set to be republished again next year.

King's son Dexter, has agreed a deal with publishers Beacon Press, in what he has called a "historic partnership".

Lectures by the late activist will be compiled into new editions with introductions by leading scholars.

The books will be released on 18 January, three days from what would have been King's 80th birthday.

'Human dignity'

The books that will be republished include the 1958 Stride Toward Freedom, King's memoir of the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, which was printed in 1956.

Beacon is a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The company 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.

In a statement, Dexter King - who is chairman of his father's estate, said: "Beacon Press will be a dedicated public outlet for his work and will help bring his urgently needed teachings of non-violence and human dignity, and his dream of freedom and equality to a new global audience."

In 1968, the black civil rights leader - who was awarded the Nobel peace prize, was assassinated aged 39.

Five years before that, he led a huge march across Washington DC where he delivered his now famous "I have a dream" speech.

He was best known for advocating the use of non-violent tactics such as sit-ins and protest marches, and leading the way in gaining equal rights for black people in the US.

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