The Washington Post

MARTIN & MAHALIA: His Words, Her SongBy Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney


His Words, Her Song

By Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Little, Brown. $17.99. Age 6 and up.

‘Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song’ by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Fifty years after the March on Washington, the words and songs from that day still ring out with determination, hope and faith. This bright, almost buoyant new picture book focuses on two towering figures who led the march and whose voices still demand our — and our children’s — attention. The church launched the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahalia Jackson on parallel journeys, which are shown initially in alternating scenes. In one blue-green spread, we see a young King preaching: “Martin SPOKE the gospel. PRAYED the gospel. SOUGHT the gospel. TAUGHT the gospel.” Turn the page, and there’s Jackson amid an orange-red whirlwind: “She SANG the gospel. WORKED the gospel. LED the gospel. SPREAD the gospel.” Working from the facts but not constrained by them, husband-and-wife team Brian Pinkney and Andrea Davis Pinkney convey the inspiration that King and Jackson received and imparted. While making it clear that the pair wasn’t alone on that Lincoln Memorial stage, the Pinkneys honor and praise King’s and Jackson’s shared vision of peace, as well as their ability to reach people around the world and through the generations.

Abby McGanney Nolan



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read
Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
In defense of dads
Play Videos
How to make head cheese
Perks of private flying
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Play Videos
Husband finds love, loss in baseball
New hurdles for a Maryland tradition
How to survive a shark attack
Play Videos
Portland's most important meal of the day
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to save and spend money at college

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.