Home Resources and Exhibitions Comic Books

A student interacts with a display about the Civil Rights Movement, including the cover of a Civil Rights Movement comic book.

Comics have had a long and important part in the fight for civil rights in the United States. In popular culture, African American leaders and events were celebrated in comic books and graphic novels, which described the political struggles as they challenged negative portrayals of African Americans and created positive representations. Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, comic book writers created new superheroes such as Black Panther, Luke Cage, and Vixen.

Comic Books

Some of the comic books featured here were published by groups like the NAACP or the Fellowship of Reconciliation (a pacifist advocacy group). These were often distributed to young people as an instructional tool to help recruit children and adults to become more involved in civil rights organizing. Others, like the Golden Legacy series, were intended to make Black history accessible and were written so young people could learn about and study history while feeling pride in themselves. Including them here highlights the long and important role comics have had in the fight for civil rights in the United States.

Click on a cover to read!

Learn about Walter M. White, Roy Wilkins, and Thurgood Marshall, three of the men who were crucial to the national Civil Rights Movement, through this 1970 graphic history!

Read this 1972 graphic history to learn about Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and role in the Civil Rights Movement!

Want to learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and nonviolent resistance? Read this 1957 graphic history!