Mrs. Rosa Parks on the 1st of December in 1955 in Montgomery Alabamba was arrested for not standing and letting a white bus rider sit in her seat. It was a rule in the American South that blacks had to sit in the back of the bus. Also africans were expected to give up their seat if needed.
When she was told to get up from her seat and let the other bus driver be seated Mrs. Parks had said no. She didn’t move nor argue. The police were called and Mrs. Parks was arrested.
She was not the first black African-American arrested for this “crime.” She was the first arrested who was well known in the Montgomery African-American community. Once she was secretary for the president of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
In Montgomery Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the pastor of the Dexter Anevue Baptist Church. He and other black african community leaders felt a protest of some kind was needed. A big overflowing crowd came to hear his words when a meeting was called. The only way to fight back is to boycott the company Dr. King told the crowd.
Black African residents of the city refused to use the buses on
December 5, in the morning. Some walked, the few with cars arranged rides for friends even strangers. Some of them even rode mules. Only a few of them rode the bus that day.
The African-American community leaders and Dr. King held another meeting to organize futre action. They named their organization the Montgomery Improvement Association and elected Dr. King as its president.
As the boycott continued the white community fought blacks with terrorisim and harassment. The car-pool drivers were arrested for picking up hitchhikers. African-Americans waiting on street corners for a ride were arrested for remaining in an area for no obvious reason.
Dr. Kings home was bombed badly on January 30, 1956. Dr. King his wife and their baby daughter escaped without being seriously injured. An angry mob waited for Dr. King when he arrived home.
“We must learn to meet hate with love”he said.
The boycott continued for over a year but then it eventualy took the United States Supreme Court to end the boycott. On November 13, 1956 the court declared that Alabamba’s state and local laws requiring segregation on buses were illegal. On December 20th federal injunctions were served on the city and bus company officals forcing them to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The following morning, December 21, 1956 , Dr. King and Rev. Glen Smiley, a white minister, shared the front seat of a public bus. The boycott had lasted 381 days. The boycott was a success.