U.S. History -Montgomery Bus Boycott

Photograph of an empty bus during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. (National Archives Identifier 7452358)

The Montgomery Bus Boycott started in Montgomery, Alabama on December 5th of 1955.

It all started with Rosa Parks…she was a 42 year-old black woman who refused to give up her seat for a white man. Parks was a member of the NAACP and was arrested when she clearly did not want to give up her seat to the white man. Parks was an ideal candidate for activists to began protesting for their civil rights.

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But we can’t forget that Rosa Parks wasn’t the only one who refused to give up their designated seat in the colored section. It was “earlier that year, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus”, but the civil rights activists said that she was too young and poor to be a sympathetic plaintiff (Prologue).

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And that’s how the Montgomery Bus Boycott was started.

The president at the time was Nixon and he was a supporter of the NAACP. He had told African Americans to stop using the Montgomery bus systems and public transport as a way of protest. As a means of transport African Americans used taxis driven by black drivers to get around. The black taxi drivers asked for lower fares, so that their fellow activists could still get around town for less money.

This was a successful protest. The city of Montgomery continued to struggle to keep the African Americans in check, but couldn’t do it. Because with the help of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s churches many people supported the boycott and joined in. Causing the city to loose money. And when the city looses money they aren’t so happy. The boycott lasted until a federal trial ruled that “racially segregated seating on buses [were] to be unconstitutional” (Prologue).

This boycott was significant to the movement as a whole as it was one of the very first victories for African Americans. Though integration of black people into society was met with plenty of violence and resistance still, it was one step forward for the African Americans (History).

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