Martin Luther King Jr. Handwritten Manuscript Page of His Book, Stride Toward Freedom, His First-Hand Account of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Item Number: 14599
Martin Luther King Jr.
American Civil Rights leader. Martin Luther King Jr. Autograph Manuscript Page for Chapter V of his book, Stride Toward Freedom, with edits. 1 page, 8" x11", Montgomery, n.d. circa 1957. The Manuscript page is entirely written in King's hand, in ink (with edits also in his hand in pencil and in red). On top of the page King writes that this handwritten text should be inserted into separate paragraphs of chapter V.
Martin Luther King Jr. manuscript page of his first book, Stride Toward Freedom, his first-hand account of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a milestone of the civil rights era. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama. Following the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1st, 1955 for failing to give up her seat for a white passenger on a Montgomery city bus, plans were launched for a one day boycott of Montgomery buses beginning on December 5th. A planning meeting was held in King’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on December 2nd. Ninety percent of the black community refused to ride the buses on December 5th, prompting calls for boycott leaders to harness the momentum into a larger protest campaign. The campaign lasted from December 1, 1955 until December 20, 1956, when a federal ruling, Browder v. Gayle, took effect, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional.The event made a national leader of King and a national icon of Rosa Parks. Just months after the boycott's end, King was asked to write a book chronicling the struggle against Alabama's bus segregation laws. In the book, King discusses the racial tension in Alabama before and after the boycott and his personal beliefs in nonviolent resistance. "Stride" was published on September 17, 1958, to critical acclaim.
In this manuscript page King reveals some of the people who were instrumental in implementing the Montgomery bus boycott, they were apart of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). The MIA was formed on December 5th, 1955, four days after Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat. Its membership included black ministers and community leaders in Montgomery, Alabama. Under the leadership of King, the MIA was pivotal in guiding the Boycott. King writes in full:
"Insert at end of paragraph two, p. 67- Other close associates who were later added to the board were Clarence W. Lee, a tall distinguished looking mortician, whose sound business ability became a great asset to the organization and Moses W. Jones, a prominent physician, who later became the second vice president of the MIA [Montogomery Improvement Association]. Insert at end of paragraph three, 21-A- after the words "proved to be of inestimable value" Richard Harris, a Negro pharmacist, was also a great asset to the transportation system. From the office of his drug store he dispatched cars by telephone from early morning till late evening. Visitors were always astonished to see him standing with a telephone at his ear dispatching cars and filling a prescription simultaneously." These edits are in the final version of his book.
It is rare to find a manuscript discussing such a milestone event of the civil rights era in Martin Luther King Jr. own hand. As Martin Luther King Jr.'s first book, Stride Toward Freedom, brought King's nonviolent philosophy to millions of Americans and was instrumental in the fight against racial discrimination. Lightly toned. In very good condition.