Boycotts By Anaka Hanson

Montgomery Bus Boycott

Background Information

1955, Montgomery, Alabama:

  • African Americans were forced to sit in the back of city busses, and give up their seats to whites, if there were no more seats left
  • Associations were planning to boycott the bus system, by getting a respected African American to go against the bus regulations and be arrested
  • A white person wanted a seat on a bus, but 15 year old, pregnant, Claudette Colvin wouldn't leave her seat
  • It was decided that Claudette Colvin wasn't who they wanted to represent their cause
Claudette Colvin

December 1st, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama:

  • When asked by the bus driver to move from her seat, so that a white person could have it, Rosa Parks, an African American woman, refused
  • She was arrested, fined and sent to jail, but was later bailed out by E.D. Nixon, because he thought she would be helpful in legally fighting segregation
  • E.D. Nixon then helped to organize the boycott against the bus system
  • The Women’s Political Council (WPC) also sent out flyers encouraging people to take part in the boycott
Rosa Parks getting fingerprinted in the Montgomery police station after she was arrested

December 5th, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama:

  • Many African Americans who usually rode the bus, boycotted the bus system, while Rosa Parks was being tried in court
  • They carpooled, biked, took taxis, and walked to get to where they needed to go
  • The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), with Martin Luther King Jr as the leader, was formed to support the boycott
African Americans carpooling, rather than riding a bus

February, 1956, Montgomery, Alabama:

  • Claudette Colvin was tried in court

June 5th, 1956, Montgomery, Alabama:

  • The federal court decided that the 14th amendment, which states that citizens should have equal rights, regardless of their race, was violated by segregating buses
  • They came to this conclusion after reviewing Claudette Colvin's Case and being pressured by the boycott

December 20th, 1956:

  • The supreme court agreed with the federal court’s ruling

December 21st, 1956, Montgomery, Alabama:

  • Busses were desegregated and the boycott was over
African Americans getting onto a bus when segregation in the bus system had ended

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