I know his birthday is celebrated in January but it is Black History Month so Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. should be included here too. In this case however, it’s the comic book that’s the star. This 14-page comic book, created in December of 1957, is “credited with being one of the most influential teaching tools ever produced for the Civil Rights Movement.” Sometimes called a booklet, it has found its way into history and is preserved at various universities and even the Smithsonian. Neither the author nor the illustrator is credited, probably for their own safety.
This comic explained clearly the passive resistance technique Gandhi sued to free India from the British and spawned many civil rights activities. Students would read this comic and use it’s information to stage their own peaceful protests. In the fight against Jim Crow, merely possessing it was dangerous and could, in some cases, have resulted in death. The comic book turned out to be an effective medium for getting the word out. It provided effective color imagery, was lightweight and as easy to pass along as it was to hide or destroy. Of the 250,000 copies that were created, very few remain intact.