Consequences/importance of the Montgomery Bus Protest
1. The direct result was that in 1956 the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on buses was illegal (Browder v Gayle). 2. After 13 months the bus companies gave in. This was REALLY important for the future because it showed to both Blacks and Whites in America that in racial discrimination cases - eventually - the Blacks would win. The battle was by no means finished, but after Montgomery the Whites knew they were going to lose in the end, and the Blacks took heart. 3. It was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement in America. It was not the first Civil Rights action (that was the Brown v Topeka ruling about segregation in schools, brought to the Supreme Court by the NAACP in 1954). But Montgomery WAS the start of 'direct action' - Black people doing something to secure their civil rights. It was thus the start-point for all the other bus boycotts, restaurant sit-ins, freedom riders, marches etc.) 4. The leader of the Bus Boycott was a local preacher called Martin Luther King who formed the 'Montgomery Improvement Association' to orgnaise the boycott - and the protest made him the leader of the Black Civil Rights Movement until his assassination. SO - no Montgomery Bus Boycott, no non-violent direct action, no 'I have a Dream' speech, no Million-Men march etc. 5. During the Boycott, the Ku Klux Klan attacked the homes of Black leaders - this turned public opinion against the Whites. From then on public opinion, specially in the north, PLUS the Federal Government - openly supported Black Civil Rights. 6. Rosa Parkes became 'the mother of the Civil Rights movement': a role model, not only for Blacks, but also for women. In particular, the bus boycott showed ordinary Black men-and-women-in-the-street that - little as they could do individually - nevetheless, if they stood together and each did their little bit, that 'we shall overcome one day'.
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