Lack of civil rights in Montgomery,
Alabama during the years 1955-1956.
Segregation in public
Influential figures who took a stand for
the interests of the black community.
Jo Ann Robinson, a teacher at an all black college . (Alabama State college)
One day Robinson took a seat among one of the white only
rows, and was kicked off of the bus.
Robinson became very angry, knowing her basic rights
as a human being. She joined the Women's Political
Council (WPC), to fight segregation.
The WPC met with numerous bus companies to try and change bus segregation. The bus companies did not grant
the WPC's wishes. The WPC began to spread talk of a boycott.
Claudette Colvin, a fifteen-year old girl who stands up for
her right to not have to give up her seat in the black
section to a white rider.
Colvin is charged with violationg segregation laws and assault for
resisting arrest. E.D. Nixon took a particular interest in Colvin's case.
Nixon contacts Clifford Durr, a liberal white attorney. Together
the pair got in touch with Fred Gray, a black attorney.
Colvin was found guilty of assault and fined. She was
also placed uder probation in her parent's custody.
Nixon wanted to take a case to the federal court. The hope was that this case would
end bus discrimination. Colvin's case wasn't the right case, but Nixon would find a
The first day of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Rosa Parks was found guilty of violating segregation laws,
but Fred Gray appealed the verdict.
Thousands upon thousands of black citizens met at the Holt Street Baptist
Church, to vote on whether or not to continue with the boycott.
It was a unanimous vote that the boycott would
continue until "comes the first rainy day".
The MIA started it's own car pool
compromised of 275-300 black-owned
Members of the MIA donated great sums of money to the orginization.
The MIA continued to negotiate for more rights on buses. They had three
demands: respectful treatment, hiring of black drivers on routes that go
through black neighborhoods, and that blacks wouldn't have to give up their
seats to white riders.
Bus companies refused to meet the black riders' demands.
The boycott continued.
The bus companies began to lose large amounts of money.
Bus fair was raised fifteen cents for white riders.
A small amount of local whites openly supported the boycott
and would drive black protestors in their cars.
The situation in Montgomery got worse, and the mayor put his foot down.
The mayor tried to discredit King and his fellow black leaders.
White people began to violently attack King' and other black leaders' houses.
The boycott has been going on for
eleven weeks, the bus company is on
the verge of bankrupcy, and the
sheriiff's office are calling to arrest
many influential leaders.
These influential leaders began to turn themselves in and were set
to have a trial in the near future. Among these leaders, was King,
Parks, Nixon, Robinson and so many more.
At King's trial on March 19, 1956, he
is found guilty with a bail of five
hundred dollars or a year of hard
KIng is released on bail.
On Juine 4, the white southern
Alabama judges declared segregation
on buses unconstitutional by the
Montgomery attorneys appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The boycott has been going on for six months now, and it would take many more
months to recieve another ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Many protesstors against MIA pulled many stunts to try and end the boycott, nne of which were sucessful.
On November 13, bus segregation was declared unlawful, after nearly a year of
boycotting the buses. The MIA car system was now illegal, but that didn't matter.
Once the official court papers were published, bus segregation would be illegal.
On December 20, the supreme court decision
was final and bus segregation was over.
Many violent acts were commited against former MIA members.
Eventually, things settled down and lfe returned to its
normal state, with a few threats here and there.
Life all over the world was drastically improved thanks
to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was stabbed in
the chest, but recovered. On, April 4,
1968 King's life was ended by an
Mayor Gayle discouraged
white citizens to help in the
boycott in any fashion.
Rosa Parks, a 42 year-old
seamstress,who was also a dedicated
member to the NAACP.
On the way home one evening, a bus driver demanded
Parks give her seat to a white passenger. Parks
refused, and was in turn arrested.
Cliffored and Virginia Durr were very close
with Parks and bailed her out of jail.
Nixon felt very strongly that Rosa's case would be
the perfect test case to take to the Federal court.
Rosa agreed to fight bus segregation, and Fred
Gray agreed to represent her in the endeavor.
Fred Gray got in touch with Jo Ann Robinson and told her the news. Jo Ann then alerted
many of her friends from the WPC, and they made a flyer challenging the black community
The pamphlet told blacks not to ride the buses anywhere on
Monday, December 5 1955, to protest the trial of Rosa Parks.
Martin Luther King, Jr., . a 26 year-old reverend, and president of the Montgomery
Improvement Acossiation. (MiA)
King delivered an empowering speech to the whole black community about fighting for freedom.