A year earlier, she had been arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus. On a cold December evening inRosa Parks quietly incited a revolution — by just sitting down. She was tired after spending the day at work as a department store seamstress.
Local laws dictated that African American passengers sat at the back of the bus while whites sat in front. If the white section became full, African Americans had to give up their seats in the back.
When Parks refused to move to give her seat to a white rider, she was taken to jail; she was later bailed out by a local civil rights leader.
Although Parks was not the first resident of Montgomery to refuse to give up her seat to a white passenger, local civil rights leaders decided to capitalize on her arrest as a chance to challenge local segregation laws.
They believed that the boycott could be effective because the Montgomery bus system was heavily dependent on African American riders, who made up about 75 percent of the ridership. Some 90 percent of the African American residents stayed off the buses that day.
The boycott was so successful that local civil rights leaders decided to extend it indefinitely. A group of local ministers formed the Montgomery Improvement Association MIA to support and sustain the boycott and the legal challenge to the segregation laws.
A powerful orator, he was new to the area and had few enemies, and, thus, local leaders believed he could rally the various factions of the African American community to the cause.
The MIA initially asked for first-come, first-served seating, with African Americans starting in the rear and white passengers beginning in the front of the bus. They also asked that African American bus drivers be hired for routes primarily made up of African American riders.
The bus companies and Montgomery officials refused to meet those demands. Many white citizens retaliated against the African American community: Several times the police arrested protesters and took them to jail, once charging 80 leaders of the boycott with violating a law that barred conspiracies to interfere with lawful business without just cause.
Despite such intimidation, the boycott continued for more than a year. The MIA filed a federal suit against bus segregation, and on June 5,a federal district court declared segregated seating on buses to be unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court upheld that ruling in mid-November. The federal decision went into effect on December 20, The boycott garnered a great deal of publicity in the national press, and King became well known throughout the country.
The success in Montgomery inspired other African American communities in the South to protest racial discrimination and galvanized the direct nonviolent resistance phase of the civil rights movement.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:The boycott lasted days and produces a serious influence on the public buses in Montgomery as Afro-Americans were 70% of their passengers: “J.
H. Bagley, manager of the bus company, issued this statement after hearing of the circulars: ”˜The Montgomery City Lines is sorry if anyone expects us to be exempt from any state or city law. The black ministers and their churches made the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the success that it was.
Had it not been for the ministers and the support they received from their wonderful congre-. Montgomery bus boycott, mass protest against the bus system of Montgomery, Alabama, by civil rights activists and their supporters that led to a Supreme Court decision declaring that Montgomery’s segregation laws on buses were unconstitutional.
The photo-essay design is attractive and spacious. On every spread, readers will find beautifully reproduced black-and-white photos, including famous pictures as well as a few not often seen, including a picture of a leaflet urging boycott/5(20).
The Montgomery bus boycott changed the way people lived and reacted to each other. The American civil rights movement began a long time ago, as early as the seventeenth century, with blacks and whites all protesting slavery together. Feb 03, · The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a civil-rights protest during which African Americans refused to ride city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest segregated seating.
The boycott took place from.