Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story
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 chronicle of 50,000 Blacks who took to heart the principles of nonviolence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who, in the process, acquired a new estimate of their own human worth. It is the story of Negro leaders of many faiths and divided allegiances, who came together in the bond of a cause they knew was right. And of the Negro followers, many of them beyond middle age, who walked to work and home again as much as 12 miles a day for over a year rather than submit to the discourtesies and humiliation of segregated buses. .
There is also another side to the picture: it is the white community of Montgomery, long led or intimidated by a few extremists, that finally turned in disgust on the perpetrators of crime in the name of segregation. The change should not be exaggerated…Yet by the end of the bus struggle it was clear that the vast majority of Montgomery whites preferred peace and law to the excesses performed in its name. And even though the many saw segregation as right because it was the tradition, there were always the courageous few who saw the injustice and fought against it side by side with Blacks.