In 1955, African Americans were still required by a Montgomery, Alabama, city ordinance to sit in the back half of 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 Parks refused. She was arrested and fined $10, plus $4 in court fees. This was not Parks’ first encounter with Blake. 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.
African American reused 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,
After Rosa Park arrested. The Montgomery bus boycott was planned by Nixon and leg by king, soon followed. the boycott lasted for 385days, and the situation became so tense that king's house was bombed. king was arrested during the campaign. king's role in the bus boycott transformed him into a national figure and best -known spokesman of the civil rights movement.
On the evening that Rosa Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon, head of the local chapter of the NAACP, began forming plans to organize a boycott of Montgomery's city buses. Ads were placed in local papers, and handbills were printed and distributed in black neighborhoods. Members of the African-American community were asked to stay off city buses on Monday, December 5, 1955—the day of Rosa's trial—in protest of her arrest. People were encouraged to stay home from work or school, take a cab or walk to work. With most of the African-American community not riding the bus, organizers believed a longer boycott might be successful.
The African-American Civil Rights Movement was an ongoing fight for racial equality that took place for over 100 years after the Civil War. Leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Booker T. Washington, and Rosa Parks paved the way for non-violent protests which led to changes in the law. When most people talk about the "Civil Rights Movement" they are talking about the protests in the 1950s and 1960s that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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