Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. utilized comic books to promote his message

On this Martin Luther King Jr holiday, I think back to the challenges of energizing a movement, capturing the attention of youth, and communicating a message to a wide audience back in a time, before I was born, that was void of the Internet, cell phones, texts, twitter, Facebook, and blogs that are such popular mediums today for people to connect with one another.  In the late 1950's television was the new exciting technology and most written messages were still delivered through newspapers, telegram, or the good old US Mail. How was a passionate Minster to reach out to gain volunteers and supporters to support him in his crusade against racial discrimination?  Very creatively, Martin Luther King Jr. used a comic book as a marketing tool to help share his vision to the World.

In 1957, a group called the Fellowship of Reconciliation  worked with Martin Luther King Jr. to publish a full-color comic book entitled MARTIN LUTHER KING & THE MONTGOMERY STORY.  This comic book brought the story of his fight to end racial discrimination to life for many people and promoted the concept of utilizing the principles of non-violence to reach this goal.   Noted civil rights veteran Congressman John Lewis credit this comic book for inspiring him and many other young activists at that time to join Dr. King's movement.

Top Shelf Productions is taking people back to that turbulent time in history by republishing the original MARTIN LUTHER KING AND THE MONTGOMERY STORY in print and digital formats.  The comic can be purchased digitally exclusively on Comixology for $1.99 or in print format through Tip Shelf Comics for $5.00  Take a look at how comic books helped change the world through this unique historical reprint.  What a great way on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to sit down with your kids and discuss the issues relating to this holiday.  Martin Luther King Jr. was much more than his "I have a Dream" speech and this comic book is a great way to look at the man and his mission.  Plus it is an interesting look at how comic books have played a role in the development of American history.

All money collected from the sale of this comic book by Top Shelf Productions will be donated to the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR).  An interfaith, tax-exempt organization, FOR promotes active nonviolence and has members from many religious, spiritual, and ethnic traditions. FOR-USA is a branch of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), which coordinates affiliates in more than 50 countries.

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