Bus Boycott

2007 Words9 Pages
During the first half of the twentieth century segregation was the way of life in the south. It was an excepted, and even though it was morally wrong, it still went on as if there was nothing wrong at all. African-Americans were treated as if they were a somehow sub-human, they were treated because of the color of their skin that somehow, someway they were different.
In the south it was almost impossible to find any aspect of life that was not segregated. The schools were segregated and the restaurants were segregated. There was “Colored Only” bathrooms, and “Colored Only” drinking fountains and segregation was definitely present in public transportation.
Martin Luther King Jr. could not have said it better when he addressed the massive crowd at the first meeting of Montgomery Improvement Association and said, “ . . . we are here, we are here because we are tired now.”1 On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks, a seamstress who lived in Montgomery, Al, refused to give her seat up to a white man who had nowhere to sit on the bus. Because she would not move to the back of the bus, she was arrested for violating the Alabama bus segregation laws. Rosa was thrown in jail and fined fourteen dollars.
Enraged by Mrs. Parks arrest the black community of Montgomery united together and organized a boycott of the bus system until the city buses were integrated. The black men and women stayed of the buses until December 20, 1956, almost thirteen months after the boycott their goal was reached. The Montgomery Bus Boycott can be considered a major turning point in the Civil Rights Movement because it made Martin Luther King Jr. public leader in the movement, starting point for non-violent protest as an effective tool in the fight for civil rights, showed that African-Americans united for a cause could stand up to segregation.
Being president of the Montgomery Improvement Association taught Martin Luther the skills and gave the exposure to become a great leader of a movement as large as the civil rights movement. The thing that Martin Luther King is remembered most for was his oratory skills. M.L.K was a master speaker and his speeches and the greatness of them will always live on forever. His Speaking style has been compared to such great people as Gandhi, Jesus and Fredrick Douglass because he knew how to dramatize the truth.2 This is evident when he...

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... the Bus Boycott Martin Luther King Jr. went on to become the leader of civil rights movement and the one who the most closely associated to the civil rights movement. Some many things have happened because of Martin Luther King Jr. and everything involved with the boycott. Just think, it all would have never happened if one person, Mrs. Rosa Parks, would have let that the bus driver trample over her and not stand up for what she know is right.
In Martin Luther King Jr’s book, Stride Towards Freedom, he sums up the whole boycott very nicely. “The Story of Montgomery us the story of 50,00 Negroes who were willing to substitute tired feet for tired souls and walk the streets of Montgomery until the walls of segregation were finally battered by the forces of justice.”5

End Notes
1Taylor Branch Parting the Water: America in the King Years, 1954-1963 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988) 140
2Lerone Bennett Jr. Before The Mayflower: A History of Black America (New York: Johnson Publishing Company, 1969) pg. 314.
3Branch 139
4 Branch 143
5 Juan Williams, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 (New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1987) 89
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