The Montgomery Story – Is This The Most Influential Comic Book In America?

The writer and artist are unknown but this fourteen page comic book published the Fellowship of Reconciliation tells the story of the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Martin Luther King, Jr, and includes a history of passive resistance in India.

Published in the same year comic was spread amongst the Southern black population in a time when the media were uncomfortable about reporting and repeating stories, and in a climate when books and newspapers that seemed to support civil rights were destroyes. The comic had a better chance of not only getting through, as it was seen as juvenile fare, but also appeal to an audience less well educated. Even so, comics curator Joe Wos states;

People were told to read it, memorize it, and destroy it because if they were caught with it, they could be killed.

The comic was used as a guide by students during the sit-in movement of the sixties and was cited as propogating civil disobedience tactics ten years after the books initial publication. And although hundreds of thousands of copies were eventually printed, in a number of languages, few remain today, and copies can sell for hundreds dollars.

And you know what? It’s not a bad read either.

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