MARTIN LUTHER KING AND THE MONTGOMERY STORY (ca. 1957) Art by Dan Berry
During the late 50s a comic was being distributed around the south. It told the story of Dr. King and the Montgomery Boycotts. The publisher decided to use comics to get the story out because more adult seeming publications like magazines or newspaper would have been spotted easily and destroyed immediately. However, thousands of copies of this comic were destroyed anyway because it was dangerously honest. It featured the Klan (lynching, bombs, burning crosses), Jim Crow laws, and the entire concept of Nonviolent Protest. It also offered advice and instructions on how to use passive resistance and massive non-violent resistance against segregation, just as these ideas were fresh. Plus it established a clear connection of MLK to Gandhi, a public connection that continues on to today.
A copy of this comic (which you can read here) is held in the Smithsonian and many Civil Rights leaders recognize this as one of the most important AND PERSUASIVE items of the 50s in establishing or explaining their cause to the world, as well as giving many black youths the courage and direction to hold their own political protests.