This is MLK’s first book and the first book of his I read and now I want to read all his other stuff lol. Stride Toward Freedom is all about his experience with the bus boycott beginning in 1955. From moving his family down to Montgomery from Boston for a church job to leading a year-long protest and his thoughts beyond it. MLK is eloquent as hell and has a certain kind of drive. Like he’s always up to something–finishing his dissertation or running a meeting for a couple hours or talking to a big crowd of people in front of his house. He was really a great rhetor. And he writes in a charming, passionate way.
I read Clayborne Carson’s intro at the end because I didn’t was a big preview. While I was reading the book, MLK’s religious stuff was cool, but I definitely stumbled through his criticism on Marx. Like wait what? So you believe in half that and half capitalism? Can’t relate. But the intro implies that MLK wrote the book out a certain way politically to reach the masses. Cuz he was already famous. So his writing was meant to influence via infiltration. It was a chance to explain things to everyone and to get more people to care. Like he says, this wasn’t the first bus boycott in the south and it wasn’t even his idea. He was just picked to be the leader.
Best line: “Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they do not know each other; they do not know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated.”
-Rachel Wagner 2021