MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a protest against racial segregation on the public transit system. It was started in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama and lasted 381 days. Some of the most important and influential people of this movement were Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. There were many other people who fought for this movement though. This movement taught people about how to fight for what was right.
The idea of the protest was created 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.” The Montgomery Bus Boycott was officially started on December 5, 1955 due to the arrest of a 40 year old seamstress named Rosa Parks. She was arrested for not giving up her seat to a white man. The bus driver of the bus asked her to give up her seat and she refused. The following excerpt of what happened next is from Douglas Brinkley's 2000 Rosa Park's biography: “Are you going to stand up?” the driver demanded. Rosa Parks looked straight at him and said: “No.” Flustered, and not quite sure what to do, Blake retorted, “Well, I’m going to have you arrested.” And Parks, still sitting next to the window, replied softly, “You may do that.” The driver’s name was James Blake. Back then on public transportation an African-American was supposed to sit on the back of the bus. If the bus ever got full African-Americans were required to give up their seat and stand or find another row of seats that did not have a white person sitting in it. While
Parks was in jail she was allowed to make a phone call and she called the reverend from her church. His name was Rev. E.B. Nixon. From there Nixon called Rev. A. Philip Randolph and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. They scheduled a protest of the transit system and spread the word to the black community to not use public transportation on the day of Parks’ trial, which was December 5. American culture during this time period was set up in a certain way. Men and women wore specific clothing types. A new form of art was created called Abstract Expressionism. Also, more and more households were brought into the works of television. Majority of the television shows were focused at middle class families and were plotted so that they could relate to what the middle class was familiar with. “People watched it because they found it an enjoyable way to spend their time.” Although television became popular, it still featured very slim to no television shows featuring African-Americans or other minorities. What sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott was the arrest of Rosa Parks. But there was a previous incident that gave African Americans the idea to start a boycott. In March of 1955 a 15 year old girl name Claudette Colvin was arrested for doing the same thing as Rosa Parks. After Martin Luther King along with others looked over her case they decided that she would be a good candidate to start a protest on the public transportation system. But soon they found out that she was pregnant and this would take away her chances of actually being successful in starting a boycott. “…had to be sure that I had somebody I could win with." When Parks’ incident came into place King along with his committee knew they had the perfect candidate that would help the movement become a success. What also sparked the movement was the Plessy v.
Ferguson case of 1896, although it took awhile for the movement to get started. The case stated that there could be a separate but equal doctrine meaning that public facilities could be segregated as long as they were equal. This Supreme Court decision was later over-turned by the Brown v. Board of Education case of 1954. The Montgomery Bus Boycott influenced society in many ways. It helped to start the Civil Rights Movement and started to get African Americans to demand...
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