The Montgomery Bus Boycott
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which African Americans refused to ride city buses in Montgomery, Alabama to protest segregated seating, took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large- scale demonstration against segregation in the U.S. on December 1, 1955, four days before the boycott began, Rosa Parks, an African-American women, refused to yield her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus. She was arrested and fined. The boycott of public buses by blacks in Montgomery began on the day of parks’ court hearing and lasted 381 days. The U.S. supreme court ultimately ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system, and one of the leaders of the boycott, a young pastor named Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-68), emerged as a prominent national leader of the American Civil Rights Movement in the wake of the action.
In 1955, African Americans were still required by a Montgomery, city ordinance to sit in the back half of the city buses and to yield their seats to white riders if the front half of the bus, reserved for whites, was full. On December 1, 1955, African American seamstress Rosa Parks (1913-2005),was returning home from her job at a local department store on the Cleveland Avenue bus. She was seated in the front row of the “colored section” when the white seats filled, the driver, J. Fred Blake (1912-2002), asked Parks and three others to vacate their seats. The other African American riders complied, but sparks refused. She was arrested and fined $10, plus $4 in court fees. This was not Parks’ first encounter with Blake the bus driver. In 1943, she had paid her fare at the front of a bus he was driving, then exited so she could re-enter through the back door, as required Blake pulled away before she could re-board the bus.
Although Parks has sometimes been depicted as a women with no history of Civil Rights activism at the time of her arrest, she and her husband, Raymond (1903-77), were, in fact, active in the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of colored people (NAACP) and Parks served as its secretary. Upon her arrest, Parks called E.D. Nixon (1899-1987), a prominent black leader, who bailed her out of jail and determined she would be an upstanding and sympathetic plaintiff in a legal challenge of the segregation ordinance, African American leaders decided to attack the ordinance using other tactics as well. The Women’s political council (WPC), a group of black women working for civil rights, began circulating flyers calling for a boycott of the bus system on December 5, the day Parks would be tried in municipal court. I was drawn to this story because it was interesting to me and it had something to do with African Americans and I thought it would be great to my essay on.
Rosa Parks is the creator of this cultural artifact because she was fed up with sitting in the back of the bus and none of the other blacks would speak up about sitting in the back of the bus, so I feel like that’s why she did. United press photo took the photo Rosa Park photo and they was located in New york. New York times was the newspaper who wrote about the Rosa Park story, but I cant find the specific names of who covered it. New york times was supported of a lot of story’s and especially this story because it was around the time when slavery ended. This was a timer where African Americans were starting to stand up for their rights even more. It was an African American woman who decided to take a stand, and it was huge news because it took place in the south, which still had a lot of de jure and de facto segregation.
The Rosa Park story was created December 5, 1955. The photo was posted the same day it happened. The time was significant to African Americans at the time because African Americans was being treated wrong still, slavery was dying down. So basically I feel like this story sounds just like slavery but that is just my opinion on what I think. What I mean by that is African Americans were just starting to stand up for themselves from whites taking control of them for decades.
The 1950’s was a time African Americans were taking more action. They were doing it through nonviolence and other means. Rosa Parks’ actions sparked a huge boycott that brought about significant change and it inspired many African Americans. She was among one of many African Americans who decided that they had been oppressed for long enough. It changes over times because back than it was hard and rough and slavery was just crazy, now a days its much easier I mean blacks get a lot of freedom compared to back than because in slavery when they was working they was barely getting paid, they was being ran by masters, in todays world the only time your really being told what to do and that is compared to slavery is being in jail, but other than that yes a lot of stuff changed from than to now. The time will never change with the photo because their wont never be a story like that, there wont be another Rosa Park. This photo means a lot to me because I agree with Rosa Parks and plus she is African American and her story is really powerful and she helped out kids, teens and adults in todays world, for example in todays world you can be black and sit in the front, middle or back of the bus without having someone being racist.
This story relates to me because I know a little bit about back in the day because my great aunt that passed away this year was 108 years old and she would tell me as much as she can about back then. I lived with her for my last 2 years of high schooled and I was home schooled, so every morning I would go in her room and sit in there for hours and talk to her about what she had to go through and what I do remember she told me about the Rosa Park story on how important that story was to African Americans at the time because of what they been through and how it was getting a little better than what it was in the 1920’s and even before that.
This relates to a lot of what I learned in (Professor L. Pittman) class this fall like some stuff I remember off the top of my head is how slavery was ran as a total institution regarding how slaves had to deal with the psychological, sexual and emotional tactics used to break down slaves and get the most out of them for a little cost as possible if that makes sense to you. The reason I used that sentence above is because it gives you a little about what slavery was like and it relates to Rosa Parks story. What I learned in this course this fall that relates to my blog is that life wasn’t fair for African Americans and still isn’t fair to us just way better and more freedom now a days. What helped me write this blog is that I was interested in getting to know this whole story because like I said before all this is new to me honestly, I didn’t know a lot about our blacks history but taking this class made me interested to learn about it more and more from here on out. Learning about the different Civil rights activist and groups helped me to better understand how African Americans were able to bring about change. The Civil Rights Movement occurred over the course of several years, So to me it helped me understand that change doesn’t happen over night. It was a slow progression of change, and I was able to see that Rosa parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycotts took a lot of dedication and commitment just like when I play basketball it takes hard work and dedication to become good at this and it doesn’t come easily. Change and progress develops over time.
Rosa Parks Arrested for Civil Disobedience. 1956. Prints and Photographs Division. Library of Congress. Web. <https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/rosaparks/rosaparks.html>.