Remembering Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story
Comic Book

by Taylor Nix
January 18, 2010


In December of 1957, a comic book was published by the Fellowship of Reconciliation that would forever change the Civil Rights Movement and would prove to be one of the most monumental teaching techniques imaginable. The Montgomery Story, a 14-page comic chronicles the story of the successful 1956 Montgomery bus boycott with Martin Luther King Jr. at the helm. In just two pages of the comic, Ghandi's techniques of passive resistance were introduced and set the framework for future action.

This comic book went on to be used as a guide for students who launched the sit-in movement. On February 1, 1960, just four black college students entered a Woolworth’s drugstore in Greensboro, North Carolina and were determined to be served while sitting. Although they knew only whites were allowed to sit on the stools and eat, these four black students did not leave until the drugstore closed. Even though they were never served, they returned the next day, but they were not alone. This time, 27 other students where with them. The sit-in movement that started with only four students attracted nationwide publicity and media coverage during a time when Civil Rights were being ignored and received little to no attention.

Peaceful protests and other activities were believed to be the result of black college students reading The Montgomery Story. The fight against Jim Crow was inspired by use of a comic book. Merely possessing The Montgomery Story comic book during the 1960’s in the south was considered dangerous and could have resulted in death. It is speculated that 250,000 copies of the comic were printed, but most didn’t remain intact. The comic was initially reprinted in Spanish and has since been translated into Arabic, Farsi and Vietnamese. None of the authors or illustrators of the comic were ever identified.

This comic book was genius. Not only did it educate the many young soldiers in the Army about Civil Rights, sit-ins and the Ku Klux Klan but many of these soldiers had been taught at sub-standard, separate but unequal schools and were unable to read. With the images and pictures that are standard for a comic book, most were lured in by the vivid illustrations. This comic book afforded them and others the opportunity to learn.


Questions, comments and concerns can be sent to: taylor@urbanbooksource.com

Comments page 1 of 1:
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David Finke :
Posted 1159 days ago
This book still lives! It is being used right now in the Middle East. Check it out:
http://tinyurl.com/65la626
Pathfinder :
Posted 1553 days ago
A professor of mine talked about this comic book when I was an undergrad, funny thing is, UBS is the only other medium that have mentioned this comic book. Wow! Talk about the masses not being informed. Kudos to Taylor Nix and the urban book source for providing this information.
Latasha :
Posted 1553 days ago
Wow, I learned something new. Thanks, UBS.
Avid Reader :
Posted 1553 days ago
Great way to celebrate Dr. King! Spread the word and the knowledge.
Deem :
Posted 1553 days ago
I'll be very honest here. It's very sad that I had no idea about this comic book. had it not been for this article, I would have been unaware of this. Damn, the public schooling system. Why don't they teach black history!! The real history! Nice article Taylor Nix.
Joey Pinkney :
Posted 1553 days ago
Wow. This is a wonderful learning experience at UBS. Thank you for not only providing the best of the best in Urban Fiction, but things like this takes us above and beyond the entertainment value this site provides.
 

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