Discuss the various impacts of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Montgomery Bus Boycott did wonders in showing how social solidarity and resistance can contain powerful elements to bring about change.  When Dr. King and other leaders encouraged African- Americans to not patronize the Montgomery public transportation facilities, the economic impact was staggering.  The bus system experienced a drop in ridership, and the lessening of revenue was significant:

The boycott resulted in a crippling financial deficit for the Montgomery public transit system, because the city's black population who were the drivers of the boycott were also the bulk of the system's paying customers.

The city of Montgomery believed that it could outlast the boycott. White membership in anti- Civil Rights organizations did increase.  However, the city recognized that its practices of segregating public transportation facilities were at its end when the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1956.  The economic impact of the bus boycott had spun off into a form of political change, demonstrating how both forms of resistance can be effective.  The city of Montgomery was most effected by the bus boycott in learning a painful, yet revelation filled truth that Civil Rights was not a passing issue.  Dr. King and other leaders like him could be very effective and highly persuasive in convincing African- Americans to demonstrate cohesion against the racist institutions that permeated the lifeline of the United States and its rural and urban centers.  In this light, the economic impact of the bus boycott became a social one, as well.

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