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Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  616 ratings  ·  97 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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4.44  · 
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 ·  616 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Feb 17, 2016 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.
Grace Mead
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot adequately summarize--let alone "review"--this book. But I highly recommend it.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was fascinating. The Civil Rights Movement generally gets only a few pages in one's history book, which means the Montgomery bus boycott is reduced to a sentence or two. Hearing a detailed account of the logistics and all of the challenges along the way made me better appreciate what an undertaking it was. It's amazing that MLK Jr. survived the entire year of the boycott — he received constant death threats, his house was bombed once (and there was a failed second attempt), and he genuinely ...more
 Ariadne Oliver
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.
Robin Friedman
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Martin Luther King's Stride Toward Freedom

April 4, 2018, marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. With the annual January holiday dedicated to his memory together with the commemoration of his death, King is receiving a great deal of attention this year. Among new books examining King is an anthology "To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr" (2018), (edited by Tommie Shelby and Brandon Terry) in which philosophers
Marissa Morrison
Feb 13, 2014 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
Gail P
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This writing is partly a history, partly a personal memoir, partly a collection of Essays and always visionary. As others have noted it is difficult to write a review of this writing. I think it would take writing a book to describe all my reactions to it.

I grew up in Montgomery. I was 5 when Rosa Parks took her seat in the front of the city bus. While 5 may seem young to remember much about this period. Actually the opposite is true. There was little television, we got our first set when I was
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars (liked a lot)

I picked up the Audible audio version of this book when it was on sale on M.L.K. Day and am really glad I did.  I thought it was an exceptionally well-written and well-narrated account of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the concept of non-violence in the struggle for civil rights.  Although I was already familiar with the Boycott, this book provided a more complete picture from MLK's viewpoint.  In clear and concise detail, he reviews the planning and implementation as well
Larry Bassett
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, history
This audible book was recorded just recently although the original book was published in 1958 about the 1955–56 events in Montgomery Alabama. The book is predominantly about the Montgomery bus boycott that led to the Supreme Court decision ruling that segregation on buses was unconstitutional. More importantly I thought the book covered the beginning of the career of Martin Luther King Junior and his determined commitment to nonviolence. The narration of the Montgomery events were presented in a ...more
Mack Hayden
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The soulful words of wisdom will take the reader through the progression of the Civil Rights Movement, recognizing and acknowledging the strategies used to strive over the hurdles America came to grips with the real horrors of racism.

This is a powerful read especially for our current time to learn the struggle for equality in America is continuously an evolution forged in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
It's sad that so much of what MLK wrote about is very appropriate for today. His words are so inspiring and forced me to look at my own feelings of retaliation when faced with oppression rather than focusing on healing. I loved his descriptions of non-violence as active not passive. "It's either non-violence or non-existence." I look forward to reading his other works.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story of the bus strike in Montgomery, Alabama told by Martin Lurther King Jr. himself. A must read for anyone wishing to understand the civil rights movement.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing opportunity to gain insight into the mind of, and divine inspiration supporting, MLK as he transitioned from grad student to civil rights leader. I thought the foreword and the final chapter distracted a bit from the book, but even they contained some inspirational nuggets.
Joy Pierce
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sixty years later, this book is still SO relevant. I could hear Dr. King’s voice is every page. Wish this was required reading in our high schools today.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much.
Danie Botha
Jan 07, 2017 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
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not sure why it took me so long to come across this and read it, but I finally did and I loved it! I obviously knew a little about the Montgomery story (not just from school, but my Dad was born and raised there), but I learned so much more I didn't know. This is so much more than just a story obviously and I am still digesting all that I learned from it. Although there are many potential takeaways throughout, these are just a few of my favorites:

“[Nonviolence] is directed against forces of evil
Very good.
David Giard
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
In 1954, 25-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. moved to Montgomery, AL to lead a small Baptist Church. Alabama of the 1950s was known for embracing "Jim Crow Laws" - which enforced racial segregation by bogusly claiming "separate but equal" services. Among these laws were rules giving preference to white passengers on public buses.

In 1955, King helped organize a boycott of the Montgomery bus system after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat for a white passenger. The prote
Steve Johnson
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is recommended reading by The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and I’m glad I took the time to read it. It is the first of three major books in The King Legacy series written by Martin Luther King Jr. Reading it felt a bit like having an opportunity to read MLK’s diary of the events that led up, took place during, and occurred just after the Montgomery Bus Boycott. More than that, MLK is quick to share credit for the success of the movement he led, naming, listing, and describi ...more
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To see a detailed book about the journey of a community who want to fight for justice. Not the white man, but justice. Being black and living in Europe, I barely get information about Mr. King, except for the 'I have a dream speech' and people who share out of context quotes. In this book you'll see a sneak-peek of his life and family, where he gets his inspiration for a non-violent boycott, how fast everything escalated, how they had to think fast and adapt and how they kept grasping for hope. ...more
Just A. Bean
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More interesting for tone than content. There are probably better books about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and that year in civil rights, there are certainly better books about Dr. King himself. This one is long on polemics, and short on logistical details an personalities involved.

However, what made this book absolutely fascinating to me was the way that Dr. King was positioning it and himself in the political dialogue at the time. The introduction indicates that some of that was to do with edito
Terry Marshall
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stride Toward Freedom is Dr. King’s first book, published in 1958. In part, it’s the story of the 1955-6 Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott initiated by Rosa Parks’ historic refusal to give up her seat on a city bus for a white person. The boycott went on for 381 days, and Stride Toward Freedom give’s King’s account of the behind-the-scenes struggle to build a movement based on the philosophy of nonviolent protest.

Besides the boycott story, though, in a chapter titled “Pilgrimage to Nonviolence,”
History Woman
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There were times when I felt like I was reading a sermon rather then a book on the Montgomery story as he (Martin Luther King Jr) writes of his religion quite a bit in his book but perhaps it may be because his religion/religious beliefs was his inspiration. My favorite chapter is the one where he speaks of nonviolent resistance. "The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also refuses to hate him. At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love" He doesn't m ...more
Joanne Fate
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've known some about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and certainly heard of him growing up. I was a kid when he was assassinated and Robert Kennedy soon after. They were tumultuous times.

Of course I've heard much about Rosa Parks, but I didn't know the other parties involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. MLK wrote this book soon after. He talks much of non-violence as a means of protest, in contrast to armed defense of the Black Panthers, or tactics promoting violence as a means to an end.

Tania Bradkin
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend everyone delve in to the awesome mind of Dr. King! This was a very moving read for me. I finished it in Selma, Alabama right before I crossed that bridge still named after racist Edmund Pettus...It really brought the history together for me and what black people have endured to try and be treated equally in this country. We still have miles to go; we're not there yet. Dr. King talks about the role of government in setting those barriers and how they had to keep fighting to not b ...more
Amanda Irving
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned about how the late Rev Dr. MLK Jr applied the concept of nonviolent resistance on a larger scale during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He was an erudite, eloquent speaker and writer. Also, he was an excellent, passionate orator. MLK was able to utilize his talent through his many speeches and sermons to inspire individuals in Montgomery and all over the globe to move towards action in fighting for long-term equality and justice for all.

I rate this book a 5/5!! Superbly well-written and w
Karrie Stewart
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not only is this a first hand account of the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955, but it is told by the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. J.D. Jackson does a wonderful job being the voice of Dr. King. At times, it felt like he really was reading his book. It was so sad at the moments Dr. King talked about his life ending and wanting the struggle for Freedom to go on without him. I feel like he knew all along he would never make it into old age.

My Grandma Stewart also bought the first edition of this
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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
“[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.” 28 likes
“The mere fact that we live in the United States means that we are caught in a network of inescapable mutuality. Therefore, no American can afford to be apathetic about the problem of racial justice. It is a problem that meets every man at his front door. The racial problem will be solved in America to the degree that every American considers himself personally confronted with it. Whether one lives in the heart of the Deep South or on the periphery of the North, the problem of injustice is his problem; it is his problem because it is America’s problem.” 4 likes
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