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Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  361 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
This book is an account of a few years that changed the life of a Southern community, told from the point of view of one of the participants. Although it attempts to interpret what happened it does not purport to be a detailed survey of the historical and sociological aspects of the Montgomery story. .

This is not a drama with only one actor. More precisely it is the chroni
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 1st 1987 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published November 30th 1957)
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Feb 17, 2016 Marc-Antoine rated it it was amazing
Lately many politicians have been preaching the politics of fear and hate. It may be time to have a look back and remember what history should have taught us. Hate begets hate, violence begets violence...
Deborah Pickstone
You know, I never read this before! The autobiographical account of the Montgomery bus boycott story. MLK's writing is really lovely so it is a literary treat and not just an account of a passive resistant movement that worked. Reading it - plus The Autobiography of Malcolm X - also led me into reading comparative thoughts about MLK and Malcolm X.
This book gave me a good overview of the Montgomery bus boycott and a solid introduction to the basic concepts of nonviolent resistance. I especially enjoyed the bits where King talked about his philosophical and theological influences. It was clearly written and very accessible.
Mack Hayden
Feb 18, 2017 Mack Hayden rated it it was amazing
Shelves: america
Another enthralling and inspiring book from MLK! Some of the highlights here are passages enumerating why he adheres to a philosophy of nonviolence and how to carry it out, paragraphs critiquing the "white moderate" as perhaps the most frustrating element of racial injustice (that certainly hasn't changed) and the overarching narrative dedicated to telling the story of how the Montgomery bus project managed to transform a society. It's crazy to think how black people in the Civil Rights Era foun ...more
Marissa Morrison
Feb 13, 2014 Marissa Morrison rated it it was amazing
The excellence of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s writing--his vocabulary, the cadence, the way he exposes injustice after injustice without ever ranting angrily--makes this book a delight to read.

Rosa Parks was not sitting at the front of the bus at the time of her arrest. She was in the black section but was expected to get up and stand when a white man stepped onto the bus and found the white section full. At that time, black people had to step onto the bus through the front door to pay their dimes
Danie Botha
Jan 07, 2017 Danie Botha rated it it was amazing
What a liberating read!

Published for the first time in 1958, this book still holds true today, more than ever.
Stride Toward Freedom is Martin Luther King Jr.’s autobiographical account of the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, which was planned to last one day. In the end it continued for 386 days!
MLK gives a sober exposition of why nonviolence was the only moral route for them to follow in Montgomery. In spite of incredible odds stacked against them, including humiliation, abuse, bombings and impri
Nov 14, 2016 Nick rated it it was amazing
Read this to understand the deeper issues thar still affect our nation today. To sum up, love for others is a powerful tool that can bring about positive change in the world today. That the individual can strongly influence positive change (Rosa Parks) and that love always defeats hate in the world.
Rafael Rosa
Jan 21, 2016 Rafael Rosa rated it it was amazing
## TL;DR
The first book MLK wrote and I believe it's a very good intro to the civil rights movement, segregation and nonviolent resistance. He was a talented writer, I can see why people followed him. Just disregard the religious parts if that's not your thing.

## Opinion
I never read anything from MLK, besides watching the "I have a dream" speech many years ago. At the last MLK day Audible offered Stride Toward Freedom on the daily deals and I thought "why not?". If I knew it was so interesting I
Rob McMonigal
Mar 15, 2008 Rob McMonigal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It had been far too long since I'd read something from Dr. King, so I thought I would change that. This is the story (from MLK's perspective) of the Montgomery bus boycott, started when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move on one of the buses.

It is very much a personal account, which I admit was a bit off putting at first. This is a young and still very uncertain MLK writing in 1958, when he was just a leader of the civil rights movement, not necessarily *the* leader, though that was co
Jan 08, 2017 Joan rated it it was amazing
An important but not easy book to read. In this memoir of the amazingly successful Montgomery Bus Boycott, MLK makes a strong case for non-violence and Christian love. MLK was a modern-day prophet who led us all toward a better USA and world.
The hard work is worth the effort especially if you generally prefer romance, fantasy, fiction and fluff.
Oct 01, 2016 Maeve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
It's amazing how injustice there is in the world. I am glad I got a glimpse into one community effort to rectify an injustice perpetrated against them.
Mar 24, 2015 Gigi rated it really liked it
Of course this book is amazing for the sheer fact that it is written by the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His personal account of the non-violent protest that was the beginning of the civil rights movement is intimate, shocking and inspiring. I was caught up in his courage, humility and honesty as he guided men and women to stand up against injustice with love. Nearly always, his faith is center to his actions and words, but he also admits times of struggling to not hate "the white man". I a ...more
Mary Shelton
Feb 14, 2015 Mary Shelton rated it it was amazing
Honestly, it wasn't perfect. But the pages that were the least uplifting were the most interesting because they were just telling the story of how the movement in Montgomery got started. It was like time travel. Some of those parts were interesting because you could hear the day-to-day voice of Dr. King--the real person version and not just the historic leader. For example, in one section, he's talking about all the phone calls he was getting on the Sunday night before the first day of the bus b ...more
Persephone Abbott
Aug 20, 2015 Persephone Abbott rated it it was amazing
Published shortly after the Supreme Court declared America’s segregation laws unconstitutional, this book is a quickly written record the story of the bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama. Despite the haste with which it was written, the style is eloquent and vital. I hadn’t read any of Dr. King’s books and I wonder why, seriously wonder why. How is it that I was raised on the legend of the civil rights movement and the justice that was rendered to all American citizens, and not have read Dr. King’ ...more
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
[[The edition I have, which is falling apart, was published in 1958 by Ballantine Books--I did not see it in the editions to select from.]]

This is the second book of Dr. King's I've read and it was a page turner. He's a tremendous writer (probably had a great editor too) and very humble as he talks about all the pieces that fit into the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

His tactical, nonviolence approach was impressive. I've read some books critiquing nonviolence (I think they have some wonder
Sep 24, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about the civil rights movement that I didn't already know. It was quite interesting to hear how it all went down straight from Martin Luther King's perspective. I found the push towards non-violence in civil disobedience, while simultaneously loving the oppressor, to be quite enlightening.

As much as I'm not a fan of religion of any kind, for various reasons, it's obvious that ability to organize on such a mass scale was due to the existence of the church; basically the only pla
Debbie Waggoner
This book is 26-year-old, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s personal account of the first successful large-scale application of nonviolent resistance in America, the Montgomery bus boycott. He provides a first-hand account of the personal, social, and political events leading up to and following the bus boycott with rich insights into the man who moved a nation filled with fear and hate through the power of love. His account is comprehensive, revelatory, and intimate. He covers not only what he did, ...more
Mike Stacey
Feb 04, 2016 Mike Stacey rated it it was amazing
I could write an entire book based on just incredible and meaningful quotes of MLK just from this book. Clearly, King was on another level of thinking, politics, humanism, and spirituality that we may never see again. Stride was an excellent introduction to the beginnings of nonviolent resistance in America during the strife of legal race battles. If you haven't yet, I sincerely urge you to read stride. It doesn't matter what your race, nationality or religion is, the words of Dr. King are so im ...more
Aug 25, 2011 Margo rated it it was amazing
A book everyone should read. MLK relates the Montgomery bus boycott, the people involved in the endeavor to make bus transportation fair for everyone. I was not as aware of the boycott as I should have been at the time, nor did I realize it took a year for any compromise to be reached, or the obstacles thrown toward the participants in an effort to break the boycott. It was surprising how few libraries in our area owned it when my book group was looking for titles.
Feb 19, 2015 NcSark rated it it was amazing
One of the best books ever written. To me, the book is more than just about the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama although that alone is enough to inspire. What this book also illustrates is how non-violent confrontation can work to bring about real social change, no matter what the era, no matter what the cause. An incredible reminder of what people can do when united under great leadership.
Feb 14, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened
Of course this is a very biased view of the Montgomery Story since it's told by one of the key players who was also trying to maintain a certain public image. But when read through that lens, this was a really fascinating story. King talks about the events of the boycott and surrounding political atmosphere as well as how his philosophy was formed and informed him during this time. Worth the read if you're interested in learning more about this critical era for civil rights in the USA.
J. A. Faulkerson
Non-Violence vs. Non-Existence

I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to reading others written by this great American. He eloquently talks about the power of nonviolent resistance, providing a prescription for how to seal our current schisms. Love should supplant hate. Our solidarity should be to the human race, not a single racial/ethnic group. Thank you, Dr. King, for all you did to help America live up to its creed.
Joe Brummer
Aug 29, 2013 Joe Brummer rated it it was amazing
I read this book in the early days of my training in Nonviolence! This book really connects you with King's thinking during the bus boycotts of 1954 during the civil rights movement. He frames so much of his thinking and early work in the view of Gandhi. You can see early on in King's career that his ability to maintain a vision of what he wants to create in the world is far beyond most people. Great book!
Matt Schirano
Mar 06, 2014 Matt Schirano rated it really liked it
Inspirational as usual. An interesting and detailed description of the Montgomery Bus Boycott written by one of the central figures involved in it. The last chapter is bittersweet in that it is a glimpse of the future impact MLK would have on our nation, but it also shows what he would have wanted to turn to if he had not been prematurely taken from us.
May 24, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it
King was only 28 years old when he wrote this account of the Montgomery bus boycott. He tells the extraordinary story with passion, humor, and humility. I had heard King's speeches, of course, but have never read his writing. His strength and and intelligence ring through so clearly, that I was wrenched again by his loss.
Ismael Galvan
Sep 09, 2012 Ismael Galvan rated it it was amazing
This book tripped me out. A direct account from the front lines of the civil rights struggle. When you read about how everyone came together to overcome the injustices of the time, it give you hope that we can still pull together. A testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming oppression told in the poetically powerful way of man, Marin Luther King.
Stacey (wanderlustforwords67)
I have wanted to read a book by MLK Jr. for 20+ years. This is the first book MLK wrote. I've always been inspired by his Ghandi like positivity, commitment to non violence, intelligence and love for his fellow man. This book just solidifies my feelings. I marvel at how his spirit showed through his words and actions. What an amazing man, what a gift to humanity.
Apr 05, 2016 Andre rated it really liked it
Dr. King's account of The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a beautiful account of this historical event. The narrative was engaging. His tone was confident, yet hopeful. However, the tone was also prone to notes of arrogance (maybe deservedly).

Largely, this is a story that has powerful lessons to be learned and adapted to ANY and ALL conflicts.
Esan Swan
Jan 13, 2014 Esan Swan rated it it was amazing
Incredible and insight look in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s. Outlines MLK's philosophy for non-violence and his commitment to loving people not for what they do but for the goodness in everyone.
Lisa Banik
Feb 04, 2008 Lisa Banik rated it it was amazing
This book literally made me the person that I am today; despite growing up in a typical---for its time---bigoted WASP family, I was able to empathize and understand what the Civil Rights Movement was all about. Transforming!
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Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the pivotal leaders of the American civil rights movement. King was a Baptist minister, one of the few leadership roles available to black men at the time. He became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955–1956) and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957), serving as its first president. His ef ...more
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“[Nonviolence] is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who happen to be doing the evil. It is evil that the nonviolent resister seeks to defeat, not the persons victimized by evil.” 25 likes
“There are several specific things that the church can do. First, it should try to get to the ideational roots of race hate, something that the law cannot accomplish. All race prejudice is based upon fears, suspicions, and misunderstandings, usually groundless. The church can be of immeasurable help in giving the popular mind direction here. Through its channels of religious education, the church can point out the irrationality of these beliefs. It can show that the idea of a superior or inferior race is a myth that has been completely refuted by anthropological evidence. It can show that Negroes are not innately inferior in academic, health, and moral standards. It can show that, when given equal opportunities, Negroes can demonstrate equal achievement.” 3 likes
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