LeVar Burton To Release Two New Books

Renowned actor LeVar Burton, known for his iconic roles and unwavering commitment to literacy, is set to embark on a new chapter in his illustrious career with the release of two compelling books.

 In an exclusive announcement with PEOPLE, Burton revealed his plans to share his inspiring journey and advocacy for literacy in a deeply personal memoir slated for release in 2026. Following this, a second book emphasizing the significance of reading is scheduled for publication in 2028, as confirmed by publisher Pantheon.

Expressing his anticipation for these forthcoming releases, Burton articulated his desire to leave his mark and contribute to the ongoing dialogue. “This is my opportunity to go on record, to weigh in, as it were,” he stated. “I have earned the respect of this nation and I’ve earned the right to speak my piece.”

At 67, Burton’s career spans decades, encompassing iconic roles such as Kunta Kinte in Roots, Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and his enduring tenure as the host of Reading Rainbow, which garnered him numerous accolades, including 12 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.

Lisa Lucas, publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books, lauded Burton’s multifaceted contributions, describing him as “both an icon and a beacon.” She expressed Pantheon’s pride in publishing books that delve into his extraordinary life and career, as well as his unwavering commitment to literacy.

Burton attributes much of his passion for reading to his upbringing, citing his mother, a high school English teacher, as a profound influence. He also acknowledges the legacy of his ancestors, including his grandfather and great-grandfather, who were instrumental in advancing education, particularly among Black communities.

Reflecting on his lineage, Burton emphasized the importance of honoring those who paved the way for his success. “I feel a responsibility and an excitement to share those stories as a part of my story,” he remarked. “None of us get to be here through our singular efforts alone.”

Throughout his career, Burton has remained a steadfast advocate for literacy, a commitment that holds particular significance in light of ongoing challenges such as book bans. He sees his upcoming books as an opportunity to underscore the enduring value of literacy, especially in the context of his own journey as a Black man whose ancestors were denied the right to read.

“As a Black man who comes from people for whom it would have been illegal to have the facility of literacy, to have grown up and become a symbol of literacy… that’s no small thing,” Burton emphasized. “I think it’s worthy of noting and talking about in a memoir what that means to me, what that means to America.”