Parks is Arrested for Refusing to Sit in the Back of the Bus (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: The Montgomery bus boycott brought the black community of a large city together to protest segregation and propelled Martin Luther King, Jr., into the national spotlight.
Summary of Event
The ruling of the Supreme Court in May, 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education attacked the system of racial segregation in the public schools. This court decision did nothing to challenge other aspects of the racial order. President Dwight Eisenhower was anxious to attract black voters to the Republican party but did not wish to make civil rights an important issue for fear of alienating white voters. Most states in the Deep South had adopted attitudes of “massive resistance” designed to delay if not defeat the progress of racial integration. The black community of Montgomery was concerned with improving the treatment of Negro patrons of the city bus service. City buses were segregated by city and state law, requiring white patrons to sit in the front of the bus while black patrons sat in the back. If black riders were seated toward the front because all seats behind them were filled, they could be required to give up their seats and stand if white passengers boarded the bus. This pattern of segregation was enforced by the bus drivers, who could call on the city police to make arrests to uphold the segregation laws. During 1953, three arrests had been made of Negroes who violated the segregation ban, but...
(The entire section is 2089 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!