The Montgomery Bus Boycotts Ikram Elmi

On 1 December 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This single act of nonviolent resistance sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, an eleven-month struggle to desegregate the city's buses.

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 woman, 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 led 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.

The case was filed Feb. 1, 1956; in June, a three-judge panel for Alabama's Middle District Court ruled 2-1 that the city's bus segregation laws were in violation of the Constitution. After Montgomery Mayor W.A. Gayle appealed the decision, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case and issued a ruling on Nov. 13

As news of the boycott spread, African-American leaders across Montgomery, Alabama’s capital city, began lending their support. Black ministers announced the boycott in church on Sunday, December 4, and the Montgomery Advertiser, a general-interest newspaper, published a front-page article on the planned action. Approximately 40,000 African-American bus riders–the majority of the city’s black bus riders–boycotted the system the next day. On the afternoon of December 5, black leaders met to form the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). The group elected Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-68), the 26-year-old-pastor of Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, as its president, and decided to continue the boycott until the city met its demands.

Martin Luther King emerged as a prominent national leader of the civil rights movement while also solidifying his commitment to nonviolent resistance. King’s approach remained a hallmark of the civil rights movement throughout the 1960s. Shortly after the boycott’s end, he helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a highly influential civil rights organization that worked to end segregation throughout the South. The SCLC was influential in the civil rights campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963, and the March on Washington in August of that same year, during which King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The boycott also brought national and international attention to the civil rights struggles occurring in the U.S., as more than 100 reporters visited Montgomery during the boycott to profile the effort and its leaders.

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