Civil Rights Movement: The Montgomery Bus Boycott By: brooke lynch hour 2

Background Information on the Civil Rights

Starting in 1954, the African-American Civil Rights Movement began. The civil rights movement was a mass popular movement to secure equal access to opportunities for the basic privileges and rights of African Americans. The roots of the movement go back to the 19th century. However, unfair treatment of Africans migrating to America began in the 1600s when Africans were brought to Virginia. This is when African American slaves became known. The civil rights movement ended in 1968; officially lasting 14 years.

Background information on the Montgomery Bus Boycott

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Upon Parks arrest, a bus boycott began on December 5th, 1955 and lasted until December 20th, 1956. The bus boycott was a movement where African Americans refused to ride the bus system.

Rosa Parks amongst a racial unjust bus
Racial injustice on transportation systems was a huge problem in the 1900s. African Americans were allowed to ride on the same bus as white individuals; however, the bus was segregated by supposed law. African Americans had to sit in the back of the bus while caucasians sat in the front of the bus. Rosa Parks, an African American, one day sat in the white section; refusing to give up her seat to a white individual; eventually getting arrested. It remains being a popular legend that she was just tired after a long day of work and didn't feel like getting up that day; however, local civil rights leaders had been planning a challenge to Montgomery's racist bus laws for months, Parks being apart of this discussion. It remains being unknown whether or not she really was tired or if she was planning to take a stand.

Goal of the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott

Black individuals are walking to work instead of taking the bus. 75% of Americans make up the Montgomery bus system
The goal of this boycott was so African Americans could sit where they wanted to on the bus. Overall, they wanted to eliminate segregation on city buses; getting rid of the black and white section so any individual could sit where they wanted to on the bus. The event was trying to accomplish equal rights amongst blacks and whites regarding the transportation system and how they are treated. By avoiding to ride the buses, the Montgomery transportation system loses a lot of business and by losing business, money is lost.

The involvement


African Americans were involved in relation to the Montgomery bus boycott. People such as Rosa Parks, leader and face of the boycott; as well as those against the segregation amongst blacks and whites, avoided riding city buses in protest for equal rights. Although it was mainly African American individuals who refused to ride to city bus, it didn't matter if they were male of female. They all came together to protest equal rights regarding the city bus.

-Important people and their impact-

Rosa Parks was an African American lady arrested and fined for giving up her seat to a white individual. For years, African Americans received unfair treatment. It was not until the arrest of Rosa Parks' refusal that struck anger in the black community; resulting in the Montgomery bus boycott. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ordered Montgomery to integrate its bus system. The Montgomery bus boycott would not have been started without Rosa Parks' arrest and because of the boycott, the start of Civil Rights Movement began.
Meet Martin Luther King Junior- prominent national leader of the American civil rights movement in the wake of the action.
Martin Luther King Junior, at 26 years old, being a pastor of Montgomery's Dexter Avenue Baptist church, was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association. African American leaders across Montgomery began lending their support as well as black ministers.

Obstacles to overcome

African Americans mainly had to face segregation against the rest of the community. They were treated unfairly and had to learn to deal with it. For example, African Americans did not get as good of jobs as would White Americans. During the protest, they had to deal with now only segregation/segregation laws, but the city refused to comply with the MIA demands. To overcome these obstacles, the African American community came together in protest for equal rights against segregation.

Lasting Impact

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was significant for many reasons. To begin, it is widely regarded as the earliest mass protest on behalf of the civil rights in the U.S., setting the stage for additional large-scale actions outside the court system to give African Americans equal treatment.
Martin Luther King emerged as a prominent national leader of the civil rights movement while solidifying his commitment to nonviolent resistance. The boycott brought national and international attention to the civil rights struggles within the U.S., as more than 100 reporters visited Montgomery during the boycott to understand the effort and profile the leaders.
Because of the Montgomery bus boycott, the civil rights movement was started and because of the civil rights movement, African Americans and white Americans have equal rights to one another. Although personal segregation remains an issue, individuals are now treated equally thanks to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King junior.

Modern inequality and injustice

Across the country, make cooks, carpenters, plumbers and grocery store owners decided to boycott by not going to work one day as part of a national "day without immigrants" in protest of the Trump administration's policies toward them.

Similarities to the bus boycott

African Americans started the Montgomery bus boycott because of racial injustice. Unfortunately for Montgomery, roughly 40,000 African Americans ride the city buses; making up 75% of the bus system therefore showing that African Americans ARE indeed needed in society. Both the bus boycott and the immigration work boycott used the form of "boycott" to prove that they make up a great portion of society and without them, the community would not be the same. The goal for both boycotts was to broadcast the issue of racial injustice in hopes of receiving equality. The main obstacle for these boycotts would be the individuals attempting to stop them as well as segregation and racism overall. To overcome these obstacles, the community came together in a form of protest to make their voices heard.

Citations Staff. (2010). Montgomery Bus Boycott. Retrieved April 24, 2017, from
Robbins, L., & Correal, A. (2017, February 16). On a ‘Day Without Immigrants,’ Workers Show Their Presence by Staying Home. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from
Rosa Parks ignites bus boycott. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from


Created with images by Jo Jakeman - "Montgomery, Alabama"

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