Rosa Parks And The 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott

1141 words - 5 pages

Rosa Parks and the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott

HIST102 American History since 1877

The civil rights movement in the United States was a struggle against the racial discrimination and segregation the African Americans faced prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Dating back nearly 100 years, when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, black people in the South had been fighting for equality from the moment they were freed from slavery. There were many events that contributed to the civil rights movement. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was established in 1909. Jackie Robinson broke the color lines of Major League Baseball in 1947. In ...view middle of the document...

The law stated that once the “white” section of the bus was completely filled, all white people that were left standing were able to sit in the colored section and any black person would have to vacate the row of seats and choose a different seat further towards the back of the bus, seeing to it that a white person wouldn’t have to sit across from or next to a black person. Rosa Parks, along with three other black people, were sitting in the first row of the colored section on this day, when the white section of the bus filled up and one white man was left standing. The bus driver asked Rosa and the other three individuals to get up and move back so that the white man could sit down. The three black people sitting in the row with Rosa Parks got up as directed and moved towards the back, but Rosa Parks refused. The bus driver called the police and Rosa Parks was subsequently arrested and charged with violating Alabama’s segregation laws. Once the news got around the city of the incident, segregation activists immediately took action, as this was the moment they had been anticipating and anxiously waiting for. The practice of refusing to vacate a seat on the bus had been going on for some time prior to Rosa Park’s arrest. It usually resulted the individual getting kicked off the bus. The Plessy vs. Ferguson case included a suit brought to the courts by a black man who had been jailed for sitting in the white section of a railroad car on a train (Kohl, Rosa Parks, 11). The Women’s Political Council (WPC), led by Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, began planning a bus boycott since 1949. They were just waiting for the right moment and Rosa Park’s arrest was the moment they were waiting for. The community chose Martin Luther King Jr. to lead the boycott efforts, with the backing of the WPC and E.D. Nixon. The boycott lasted for over a year and was very effective due to the fact that the majority of the paying customers that used bus transportation were black people. The boycott was a success and a key event that helped with the civil rights movement and the passing of the Civil Rights Act (Kohl, Rosa Parks, 19).
The story of Rosa Parks is often...

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