Montgomery Bus Boycott (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: African Americans fight entrenched discrimination through economic sanctions.
Summary of Event
When the Supreme Court issued its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas in May, 1954, ruling that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, it marked the beginning of a period of dramatic change in the relationships between African Americans and whites. Until the mid-1960’s, that change was hastened by the organized nonviolent resistance by many African Americans to laws and conditions that they regarded as discriminatory. The first occasion in which such tactics proved successful was a boycott of public buses in Montgomery, Alabama.
Although African Americans had achieved some hard-fought successes before 1954—most notably the desegregation of the armed forces—in many respects they remained a separate community, enjoying fewer rights and opportunities and less legal protection than whites. This was especially true in the Deep South, where the doctrine of “separate but equal” was held to apply to most areas of daily life and was used to justify a decidedly unequal segregation. Hundreds of laws, many of them passed in the late nineteenth century, restricted the rights of black Southerners to eat, travel, study, or worship with whites.
The school desegregation ruling brought no immediate change to race relations in Montgomery. Once...
(The entire section is 1384 words.)
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Montgomery Bus Boycott (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The Montgomery bus boycott was a mass protest by African American citizens in the city of Montgomery, Alabama, against SEGREGATION policies on the city's public buses. It was nine years before the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 would change the nation forever. But in 1955, when ROSA PARKS refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man, she was arrested and jailed for violating state segregation laws. She did not realize at the time that her actions would have an immediate effect on other members of the African American community and a lasting effect on the national history of CIVIL RIGHTS. The resultant massive boycott lasted for 11 months. It ended in late 1956 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public bus segregation (the case involved the City of Montgomery) was unconstitutional. Browder v. Gayle, 352 U.S. 903.
Several of Rosa Parks' friends were members of the Women's Political Council (WPC), an organization of black professionals founded in 1946. As early as 1953, WPC members had been actively pursuing changes in bus segregation law through communications with Mayor W.A.
(The entire section is 833 words.)