PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dan Abrams discussed his brand new book which takes a revealing look at Martin Luther King Jr. and the criminal trial that launched the civil rights movement.

Alabama V. King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Criminal Trial That Launched the Civil Rights Movement is the forgotten criminal trial that put Dr. King on the front page of newspapers across the country for the first time and led to him becoming the leader of the civil rights movement.

In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated Montgomery, Alabama bus.

The historic myth was that she simply was tired and made an instant decision. In fact she had been planning this with Fred Gray for months. As a result of her arrest the 40,000-strong Black community organized a bus boycott.

Eventually eighty-nine people were arrested and indicted for violating the city’s anti-boycott statute. Gray was an attorney for all of them.

Rather than eighty-nine trials the prosecutors chose to make an example of one man: 27-year-old minister Martin Luther King, Jr. He was not widely known but had been a compromise choice to lead the protest.

This trial was covered nationally and resulted in him testifying and becoming the national civil rights leader.