"WE HAVE DISCOVERED A NEW AND POWERFUL WEAPON—NON-VIOLENT RESISTANCE": FIRST SEPARATE PRINTING OF OUR STRUGGLE, 1956, "THE FIRST ITEM EVER PUBLISHED IN KING'S NAME"
(RUSTIN, Bayard) KING, Martin Luther. Our Struggle. The Story of Montgomery. New York: Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), 1956. Slim octavo, cream pictorial self-wrappers; pp. 8. $1200.
First separate edition of this groundbreaking work authored and issued at a decisive point in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, declaring, "it is essential to defend the right of equality now," issued by CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) the same year as featured in the April 1956 issue of Liberation.
Our Struggle documents the principles and passion of the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott that was launched by the arrest of Rosa Parks and led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the first president of The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). It is especially pivotal in declaring: "We have discovered a new and powerful weapon—non-violent resistance… it is essential to defend the right of equality now. From this position we will not and cannot retreat." Based on a draft by activist Bayard Rustin with King's select revisions, it "appeared in the April issue of Liberation, the first item ever published under King's name." That same month the Supreme Court "affirmed a federal appellate court ruling striking down segregated seating on the municipal buses of Columbia, South Carolina… for a moment it seemed the boycott would be over. Then Montgomery Mayor Gayle angrily announced that the city would continue to enforce segregation… [and] King announced on the 24th that the boycott would continue." That December, after the Supreme Court rejected the city's final appeal and full service was resumed, "at 1:30 on Sunday morning, December 23, a shotgun blast ripped through the door of King's home," which had already been bombed during the boycott (Garrow, Bearing the Cross, 73-83). First separate printing by CORE; preceded by the same year's initial appearance in April 1956, in the second issue of Liberation (V.I, No.2).
Text fresh with trace of rubbing to front wrapper, two small gutter-edge holes. A very scarce about-fine copy.