March on Washington
The March on Washington was a march for jobs and freedom. It was estimated that quarter of a million people attended the march. The march was a peaceful demonstration to promote civil rights and economic equality for African Americans. The marchers marched down Constitution and Independence Avenues. Then they gathered in front of the Lincoln monument for speeches, songs, and prayers. It was televised to millions of people.
The march consisted of all different kinds of people. There were blacks and whites, rich and poor, young and old, and Hollywood stars and normal everyday people. There were many speeches that day but there were two major ones. One was from James Farmer, imprisoned in Louisiana, speech was read by Floyd McKissick, Farmer said the fight for economic and legal equality would not stop “until the dogs stop biting us in the South and the rats stop biting us in the North.” King gave the last speech of the day and it was the famous “I Have a Dream “speech. The march ended 10 minutes before schedule. After the march leaders met with President Kennedy at the White House to discuss ideas.
Montgomery Bus Boycott
The Montgomery Bus Boycott officially started on December 1, 1955. That was the day when the blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, decided that they would boycott the city buses until they could sit anywhere they wanted, instead of being relegated to the back when a white boarded. It was not, however, the day that the movement to desegregate the buses started. Perhaps the movement started on the day in 1943 when a black seamstress named Rosa Parks paid her bus fare and then watched the bus drive off as she tried to re-enter through the rear door, as the driver had told her to do. Perhaps the movement started on the day in 1949 when a black professor Jo Ann Robinson absentmindedly sat at the front of a nearly empty bus, then ran off in tears when the bus driver screamed at her for doing so. Perhaps the movement started on the day in the early 1950s when a black pastor named Vernon Johns tried to get other blacks to leave a bus in protest after he was forced to give up his seat to a white man, only to have them tell him, "You ought to knowed better." The story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott is often told as a simple, happy tale of the "little people" triumphing over the seemingly insurmountable forces of evil. The truth is a little less romantic and a little more complex. When the boycott began, no one expected it to last for very long. There had been boycotts of buses by blacks before, most recently in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1953. A one-day boycott, followed three months later by a week-long boycott, resulted in buses that were more desegregated but that still had some seats reserved for whites as well as some for blacks. On Thursday, December 8, the fourth day of the boycott, King and other MIA officials met with officials and lawyers from the bus company, as well as the city commissioners, to present a moderate desegregation plan similar to the one already implemented in Baton Rouge and other Southern cities, including Mobile, Alabama. The MIA was hopeful that the plan would be accepted and the boycott would end, but the bus company refused to consider it. In addition, city officials struck a blow to the boycott when they announced that any cab driver charging less than the 45 cent minimum fare would be prosecuted. Since the boycott began, the black cab services had been charging blacks only 10 cents to ride, the same as the bus fare, but this service would be no more. Suddenly the MIA was faced with the prospect of having thousands of blacks with no way to get to work, and with no end to the boycott in sight. In response, the MIA worked out a "private taxi" plan, under which blacks w ho owned cars picked up and dropped off blacks who needed rides at designated points. The plan was elaborate and took a great deal of planning; consequently, the MIA...
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