Montgomery Bus Boycott
This was the earliest large-scale mass action in America. It took place for three hundred and eighty-one days. The aim of the boycott was to demand the abolishment of the segregation laws in the buses. The boycott was advertised on the dailies on Sunday 4th December 1956. African ministers and other leaders also announced of the boycotts in their churches. The boycott began officially the following day. Martin Luther King Junior was elected as the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association. A seventy-five percent of the bus riders in Montgomery were African Americans and the court did not listen to their pleas. African Americans were supposed to sit at the back of the bus and leave the front half for the whites. They were also required to give seats to whites in case the space left for the whites was full. At first, they only wanted equity to sit on the bus on the basis of first come first seat until five women filed a case against segregation. In the suit, they wanted black drivers to be hired. African Americans started to walk to their destinations and taxis were mobilized to work in felting the black Americans at the same cost as that of the bus. African leaders organized boycotts and demonstration to make sure that they were heard.
There is Integration at Last
After a spirited fight by the African American leaders, the Montgomery court rules out that segregation was against the fourteenth amendments that were made in the American constitution. The changes advocated for equal treatment of all citizens regardless of race or color. The Montgomery District administration did not like this and they appealed to the Supreme Court. The ruling was upheld on the 20thof December 1956. It was faced with a lot of resistance and violence. The integration was however supposed to maintain some order in the bus with the whites sitting in the front half and the blacks in the other half. Snipers could shoot at the busses and injure people. Churches and homes of African American leaders were bombed in January the following year including a pastor's house.
Martin Luther King Junior gets to the Spot Light
During the boycott, Martin Luther was very vocal. He was dedicated to fighting for the civil rights. He found himself in the spotlight of the journalists that came to cover about the boycott and its leaders. He emerged as a national leader fighting for civil rights. He also advocated for nonviolent protests that began to take over in America in the 1960s.