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.

NPR

In The Northern Ireland Period Thriller '71,' No One Dies Well

The film is about an English private who is cut off from his unit in the middle of a riot in Belfast in 1971. It's a conventional and smashingly good chase melodrama, but it's also a tragedy.
NPR

Should Labels Say Meat Was Made In USA? Ranchers, Meatpackers Disagree

U.S. ranchers want consumers to know their meat came from cattle "raised in America." Meatpackers argue such labels add cost without much benefit. A trade dispute could soon make the labels disappear.
NPR

Justice Department To File Corruption Charges Against Sen. Menendez

The Justice Department plans to file corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., alleging that he did political favors for a friend and donor.
NPR

Saying Goodbye To A Manhattan Classical Music Mecca

The last store in Manhattan devoted exclusively to classical sheet music is closing its doors today — having been lapped by online retailers and free file sharing.

Leave a Comment

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