His 329 Section 2
April 14, 2010
The Pain and the Promise: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Tallahassee, FL
The Pain and the Promise by Glenda Alice Rabby gives an account of the long, hard struggles blacks had to endure to achieve equality among whites in Tallahassee and throughout Florida. A lot of people had the misconception that Florida wasn’t like its neighboring Southern states. Rabby proves throughout the book that those were just mere misconceptions and in fact, Florida was equally resistant to change as other states below the Mason Dixon line. Tallahassee, being the state’s capitol, was going to be the city that set the framework for the entire state during the modern civil rights movement if they were able to overcome racial discrimination and segregation. Throughout the book, Rabby tells us of the different local and national civil rights organizations that try to come against segregation and the organizations that try to uphold it.
Before the unintentional bus boycott occurred, Tallahassee was one of those towns that were considered to have good race relations amongst its citizens. Blacks knew their place and quietly accepted it, until May 26, 1956, a day that began the slow progress toward change for many blacks in Tallahassee. Two Florida A&M students, crossed the line when they decided to sit next to a white woman on a crowded, city bus instead of standing at the back like most blacks did when the only seat available was next to a white person. Little did they know, they were about to ignite the flame that started the fight for civil rights in the capitol city. Unlike the Montgomery bus boycott, these students weren’t pushed by any organization to start a boycott. They had no idea that their decision to sit, rather than stand would have such profound effects on the state as a whole. Rabby tells of this incident in great detail as it shocked both whites and blacks throughout the city. Many...