MLK Comic Book Helped Inspire Arab Spring | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

MLK Comic Book Helped Inspire Arab Spring

Play associated audio
This nearly half-century old comic book about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s involvement in a bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. has inspired Arab Spring protesters.
American Islamic Congress
This nearly half-century old comic book about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s involvement in a bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. has inspired Arab Spring protesters.

A 50-year old comic book is receiving renewed interest in the D.C. area, thanks to the upcoming dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, and recent events in the Middle East.

Zainab Al-Suwaij, executive director of the American Islamic Congress says the book, called Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, brought a message of non-violent resistance to the Middle East. That message was especially important in Egypt, where protesters gathered in February in Cairo's Tahrir Square to call for an end to the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak.

"It has a huge influence," Al-Suwaij says of the comic book. "I've seen it many times with our young activists -- holding it in Tahrir Square during the demonstrations to get rid of Mubarak and during the revolution."

The text uses a comic book format to tell the story of the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., and the start of the civil rights movement. Although the more bloody revolution currently going on in Libya is counter to the strategy of the non-violent movement, Al-Suwaij says there is a direct connection between all people who seek justice and the legacy of the rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

"I see it as the torch that's been handed over from Gandhi to Dr. King and now from Dr. King to the Arab people," she says.

The book was published in English in 1958, and has now been translated into Arab and Farsi.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 2

You can see a selection of Chinese films or meditate on the meaning of the word “axis” at an art exhibition.

NPR

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

Saffron, vanilla, palm oil, cacao and cottonseed oil are still picked by hand in some parts of the world. Sometimes that manual labor shows up in the price of the food; sometimes it doesn't.
NPR

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

A growing grass-roots movement aims to establish paid sick leave in the U.S., enjoying some success at the city and state level. The issue is already playing big in 2014 political races.
NPR

Why Do We Blindly Sign Terms Of Service Agreements?

Audie Cornish talks with University of Chicago Law School professor Omri Ben-Shahar about terms of service agreements for software and websites.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.