Montgomery Bus Boycott

Montgomery Bus Boycott

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and give up her seat to a white man. Jim Crow Laws at the time required that blacks and whites could not share seats on a bus, and that when the seats at the front were full, blacks had to move farther back to make room. Parks, a long-time NAACP member, refused and was arrested. Her bail was posted that night.

Blacks in Montgomery decided to organize a one-day boycott for the day of Rosa`s court appearance. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., was instrumental in organizing it. It was such a success that it was extended indefinitely.

The black community created a highly organized system of "taxis," through which blacks with cars transported those without to their work. Whites adopted measures, legal and illegal, to attempt to break the boycott but without success. Eventually, Montgomery retailers who were losing a lot of business switched sides and pressed for a settlement.

The conclusion of the boycott came after the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregation of public buses was unconstitutional.


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