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Bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju

Bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju


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Pedesetih godina prošlog stoljeća Nacionalna udruga za napredak obojenih osoba bila je uključena u borbu za okončanje segregacije u autobusima i vlakovima. Godine 1952. Vrhovni sud je proglasio neustavnom segregaciju na međudržavnim željeznicama. Nakon toga je 1954. godine uslijedila slična presuda o međudržavnim autobusima. Međutim, države na dubokom jugu nastavile su vlastitu politiku transportne segregacije. To je obično uključivalo bijelce koji su sjedili sprijeda, a crnci koji su sjedili najbliže sprijedu morali su ustupiti svoja mjesta svim bijelcima koji su stajali.

Afroamerikanci koji nisu poslušali državnu politiku segregacije u prometu uhićeni su i kažnjeni. 1. prosinca 1955. Rosa Parks, sredovječna krojačka pomoćnica iz Montgomeryja u Alabami, koja je bila umorna nakon napornog radnog dana, odbila je ustupiti svoje mjesto bijelcu.

Nakon uhićenja, Martin Luther King, župnik u lokalnoj Baptističkoj crkvi, pomogao je u organiziranju prosvjeda protiv segregacije autobusa. Pridružili su mu se i drugi borci za građanska prava, uključujući Ralpha Davida Abernathyja, Edgara Nixona i Bayarda Rustina. Skupinu je JoAnn Robinson, iz Ženskog političkog vijeća, uvjerila da bi trebali pokrenuti bojkot autobusa. Ideja je da bi crnci u Montgomeryju trebali odbiti koristiti autobuse dok se putnici potpuno ne integriraju. King je uhićen, a njegova je kuća bombardirana vatrom. Ostali koji su sudjelovali u bojkotu autobusa u Montgomeryju također su patili od uznemiravanja i zastrašivanja, ali prosvjed se nastavio.

Trinaest mjeseci 17.000 crnaca u Montgomeryju pješice je išlo na posao ili dobivalo liftove od male crnačke populacije grada koja posjeduje automobile. Na kraju, gubitak prihoda i odluka Vrhovnog suda od 13. studenog 1956. prisilili su Montgomery Bus Company da prihvati integraciju. Sljedećeg mjeseca autobusi u Montgomeryju su desegregirani.

Političko vijeće žena vrlo je zahvalno vama i gradskim povjerenicima na saslušanju koje ste omogućili našim predstavnicima u ožujku 1954. godine, kada se preispitivao "slučaj povećanja cijene gradskog autobusa". Vijeće je tražilo nekoliko stvari:

(1) Gradski zakon koji bi omogućio da crnci sjede odostraga prema naprijed, a bijelci sprijeda prema natrag sve dok ne zauzmu sva mjesta;

(2) da se od crnaca ne traži niti ih se prisiljava da plaćaju kartu naprijed i da idu u stražnji dio autobusa radi ulaska;

(3) Da autobusi staju na svakom uglu u stambenim dijelovima koje zauzimaju crnci, kao i u zajednicama u kojima žive bijelci.

Sretni smo što možemo izvijestiti da su autobusi sada stajali na više uglova u nekim dijelovima gdje žive crnci nego prije. Međutim, nastavlja se ista praksa sjedenja i ukrcaja u autobus.

Gradonačelnik W. A. ​​Gayle, tri četvrtine vozača ovih javnih prijevoza su crnci. Da im crnci nisu bili zaštitnici, ne bi mogli ni djelovati.

Sve više naših ljudi već se dogovara sa susjedima i prijateljima na vožnju kako ih vozači autobusa ne bi vrijeđali i ponižavali.

Dvadeset pet ili više lokalnih organizacija govorilo se o planiranju bojkota autobusa u cijelom gradu. Mi, gospodine, ne smatramo da su potrebne snažne mjere u pregovaranju radi pogodnosti koja je prikladna za sve putnike u autobusu. Mi, Vijeće, vjerujemo da se, kada se ovo pitanje iznese pred vas i povjerenike, da se ugodni uvjeti mogu ispuniti na miran i neograničen način na zadovoljstvo svih zainteresovanih.

Mnogi naši južni gradovi u susjednim državama prakticirali su politiku koju tražimo bez ikakvih incidenata. Atlanta, Macon i Savannah u Georgiji to rade već godinama. Čak i Mobile, u našoj državi, to čini i svi su putnici zadovoljni.

Molimo vas da razmotrite ovaj zahtjev i, ako je moguće, postupite blagonaklono prema njemu, jer se čak i sada planiraju jahati manje ili uopće ne voziti našim autobusima. Ne želimo ovo.

Često su crnci platili kartu na ulaznim vratima, a zatim su bili prisiljeni izaći i ukrcati se straga. Još ponižavajuća praksa bila je običaj prisiljavanja crnaca da stoje nad praznim mjestima rezerviranim samo za "bijelce". Čak i ako autobus nije imao bijele putnike, a crnci su bili krcati cijelim dijelom, zabranjeno im je sjediti na prednja četiri sjedala (u kojima je bilo deset osoba). No praksa je otišla i dalje. Ako su bijelci već zauzeli sva svoja rezervirana mjesta, a u autobus su se ukrcali dodatni bijelci. Crnci koji su sjedili u bezrezervnom odjelu odmah iza bijelaca zamoljeni su da ustanu kako bi bijelci mogli sjesti. Ako su crnci odbili stati i odmaknuti se, bili bi uhićeni.

Napustio sam posao u muškoj radnji, krojačkoj radnji u robnoj kući Montgomery Fair, a kad sam napustio posao, prešao sam ulicu do drogerije da pokupim nekoliko artikala umjesto da odem izravno na autobusnu stanicu . Kad sam ovo završio, naišao sam na ulicu i potražio autobus s Cleveland Avenue koji je očito imao neka sjedala. U to vrijeme bilo je malo teško dobiti mjesto u autobusu. Ali kad sam stigao do ulaza u autobus, stao sam u red s nizom drugih ljudi koji su ulazili u isti autobus.

Kad sam ustao u autobus i otišao do sjedala, vidio sam da postoji samo jedno slobodno mjesto koje se nalazilo upravo tamo gdje se smatralo bijelim dijelom. Dakle, ovo je mjesto koje sam zauzeo pored prolaza, a pored mene je sjedio muškarac. Preko puta prolaza bile su dvije žene, a u ovom trenutku bilo je nekoliko sjedala u samom prednjem dijelu autobusa koji se zvao bijeli dio. Otišao sam na jedno stajalište i nisam posebno primijetio tko ulazi u autobus, nisam posebno primijetio kako drugi ljudi ulaze. Na trećoj stanici su ušli neki ljudi i u ovom trenutku su sva prednja sjedala zauzeta. Sad na početku, na prvoj stanici koju sam ušao u autobus, stražnji dio autobusa bio je ispunjen

ljudi koji su stajali u prolazu i ne znam zašto je ovo slobodno mjesto koje sam zauzeo ostavljeno, jer je već dosta ljudi stajalo prema stražnjem dijelu autobusa. Treća stanica je kad su zauzeta sva prednja sjedala, a ovaj jedan čovjek je stajao i kad se vozač osvrnuo i vidio da stoji, pitao je nas četvoricu, čovjeka na sjedalu sa mnom i dvije žene s druge strane prolaz, kako bi mu dopustio da ima ta prednja sjedala.

Na njegov prvi zahtjev nitko se od nas nije pomaknuo. Zatim je opet progovorio i rekao: "Bolje da se rasvijetlite i dopustite mi da sjednem." Naravno, u ovom trenutku putnik koji bi sjeo nije ništa rekao. Zapravo, on nikada nije govorio koliko ja znam. Kad su tri osobe, muškarac koji je sjedio sa mnom i dvije žene, ustale i prešle u prolaz, ostao sam gdje sam bio. Kad je vozač vidio da još sjedim, pitao je hoću li ustati. Rekla sam mu, ne, nisam. Rekao je: "Pa, ako ne ustaneš, dat ću te uhititi." Rekla sam mu da nastavi i neka me uhiti.

Izašao je iz autobusa i ubrzo se vratio. Nekoliko minuta kasnije u autobus su ušla dva policajca, koji su mi prišli i pitali je li me vozač zamolio da ustanem, a ja sam rekao da, i htjeli su znati zašto nisam. Rekao sam im da ne mislim da bih trebao ustati. Tada su me uhitili i dali da uđem u policijski auto, a mene su odveli u zatvor.

Ovdje smo večeras radi ozbiljnih poslova. Ovdje smo u općenitom smislu jer smo prije svega američki državljani i odlučni smo primijeniti svoje državljanstvo u punini svojih mogućnosti. Ovdje smo zbog naše ljubavi prema demokraciji, zbog našeg duboko ukorijenjenog uvjerenja da je demokracija pretvorena iz tankog papira u debelo djelovanje najveći, oblik vladavine na zemlji. Ali mi smo ovdje u specifičnom smislu, zbog situacije s autobusom u Montgomeryju. Ovdje smo jer smo odlučni ispraviti situaciju.

Ova situacija nije nimalo nova. Problem postoji beskonačno mnogo godina. Već dugi niz godina crnci u Montgomeryju i mnogim drugim područjima nanose paralizu osakaćujućeg straha u autobusima u našoj zajednici. U toliko su navrata crnci bili zastrašivani, ponižavani i tlačeni zbog same činjenice da su bili crnci. Nemam vremena ove večeri da ulazim u povijest ovih brojnih slučajeva.

No, barem jedan stoji pred nama sada s jasnim dimenzijama. Pre neki dan, tačnije prošlog četvrtka, jedan od najboljih građana Montgomeryja - ne jedan od najboljih crnaca, već jedan od najboljih građana Montgomeryja - izveden je iz autobusa i odveden u zatvor te uhićen jer je odbila da ustane kako bi svoje mjesto prepustila bijelcu. Gospođa Rosa Parks je fina osoba. A budući da se to moralo dogoditi, sretan sam što se to dogodilo osobi poput gospođe Parks, jer nitko ne može sumnjati u neograničeni doseg njezina integriteta. Nitko ne može sumnjati u visinu njezina karaktera, nitko ne može sumnjati u dubinu njezine kršćanske predanosti i predanosti Isusovom učenju.

I samo zato što je odbila ustati, uhićena je. Znate, prijatelji moji, dođe trenutak kad se ljudi umoriju od gaženja željeznim nogama ugnjetavanja. Dođe vrijeme moji prijatelji kad se ljudi umore od bacanja preko ponora poniženja gdje dožive sumornost mučnog očaja. Dolazi trenutak kad se ljudi umore od guranja s svjetlucave sunčeve svjetlosti u srpnju života i ostave ih stajati usred prodorne hladnoće alpskog studenog.

Ovdje smo, ovdje smo večeras jer smo sada umorni. Recimo sada da mi ovdje ne zagovaramo nasilje. To smo prevladali. Želim da se u cijelom Montgomeryju i cijelom ovom narodu zna da smo kršćanski ljudi. Vjerujemo u kršćansku religiju. Vjerujemo u Isusovo učenje. Jedino oružje koje imamo u rukama ove večeri je oružje protesta. I drugo, ovo je slava Amerike sa svim njezinim manama. Ovo je slava naše demokracije. Da smo bili zatvoreni iza željeznih zavjesa komunističke nacije, ovo ne bismo mogli učiniti. Da smo zarobljeni u tamnici totalitarnog režima, ovo ne bismo mogli učiniti. No, velika slava američke demokracije je pravo na prosvjed za pravo.

Prijatelji moji, ne dopustite da nas netko natjera da osjećamo da bismo se u svojim postupcima trebali uspoređivati ​​s Ku Klux Klanom ili s Vijećima bijelih građana. Na autobusnim stajalištima u Montgomeryju neće biti spaljenih križeva. Neće biti bijelaca koji će biti izvučeni iz svojih domova, izvedeni na neku udaljenu cestu i ubijeni.

Među nama neće biti nikoga tko će ustati i prkositi Ustavu ove nacije. Ovdje se okupljamo samo zbog naše želje da vidimo da pravo postoji.

Prijatelji moji, želim da se zna da ćemo s mračnom i čvrstom odlučnošću raditi na postizanju pravde u autobusima u ovom gradu. I ne griješimo, ne griješimo u onome što radimo. Ako smo u krivu, onda Vrhovni sud ove nacije nije u pravu. Ako smo u krivu, Ustav Sjedinjenih Država je pogrešan. Ako griješimo, Svemogući Bog griješi. Ako griješimo, Isus iz Nazareta bio je samo utopijski sanjar i nikada nije sišao na zemlju. Ako griješimo, pravda je laž. Odlučni smo ovdje u Montgomeryju raditi i boriti se dok pravda ne poteče poput vode, a pravednost poput moćnog potoka.

Želim reći da se sa svim svojim postupcima moramo držati zajedno. Jedinstvo je velika potreba časa. A ako smo jedinstveni, možemo dobiti mnoge stvari koje ne samo da priželjkujemo, već i opravdano zaslužujemo. I ne dopustite da vas itko plaši. Ne bojimo se onoga što radimo, jer to radimo u skladu sa zakonom.

U našoj američkoj demokraciji nikada ne postoji trenutak u kojem moramo pomisliti da griješimo kada prosvjedujemo. Zadržavamo to pravo. Mi, bez nasljedstva ove zemlje, mi koji smo toliko dugo bili potlačeni umorni smo od prolaska kroz dugu noć zatočeništva. I mi posežemo za svitanjem slobode, pravde i jednakosti. U svim svojim djelima, u svim svojim razmišljanjima što god radili, moramo držati Boga u prvom planu. Budimo kršćani u svim svojim postupcima. I želim vam večeras reći da nije dovoljno da razgovaramo o ljubavi. Ljubav je jedan od vrhunaca kršćanske vjere. Postoji još jedna strana koja se zove pravda. A pravda je doista ljubav u primjeni. Pravda je ljubav koja ispravlja ono što bi radilo protiv ljubavi. Stajati pored ljubavi uvijek je pravda. I mi samo koristimo alate pravde. Ne samo da koristimo alate uvjeravanja, već moramo koristiti i alate prisile. Ne samo da je ovo proces obrazovanja, već je to i proces zakonodavstva.

I dok stojimo i sjedimo ovdje večeras, i dok se pripremamo za ono što nas čeka, izađimo van s mračnom i odvažnom odlučnošću da ćemo se držati zajedno. Radit ćemo zajedno. Ovdje u Montgomeryju, kad se povijesne knjige budu pisale u budućnosti, netko će morati reći: "Živjela je rasa ljudi, crnaca, runastih pramenova i crne puti, ljudi koji su imali moralnu hrabrost zauzeti se za svoja prava. " Time su unijeli novo značenje u vene povijesti i civilizacije. I to ćemo učiniti. Daj Bože da to učinimo prije nego što bude prekasno.

Primjedba koja je izazvala najveći pljesak bila je: "Nećemo se povući ni centimetra u našoj borbi za osiguranje i zadržavanje našeg američkog državljanstva." Druga je bila izjava: "A povijesna će knjiga o nama pisati kao o rasi ljudi koji su se u okrugu Montgomery, država Alabama, država SAD, zalagali i borili za svoja prava kao američki građani, kao građani demokracije . "

Publika je slušala kako je sve više automobila dolazilo. Ulice su postale Dexter prometne grmljavine. Između govora pjevalo se hvalospjev. Na kraju je došlo do prolaska šešira, a crnci su pali u dolarske novčanice, novčanice od 5 dolara i novčanice od 10 dolara. To nije bilo pasivno davanje već aktivno davanje. Crnci su pozvali prolaznike šešira vani - "Evo, dopustite mi da dam."

Kad je pročitana rezolucija o nastavku bojkota autobusa, začulo se veliko oduševljenje. Mnogi su rekli da se više nikada neće voziti autobusom. Crnci su se okrenuli jedni prema drugima i usporedili prošle incidente u autobusima.

U nekoliko je trenutaka došlo do emocionalnosti za koju su ministri na platformi prepoznali da se može otrgnuti kontroli te su u raznim intervalima uvijek iznova ponavljali ono što "mi tražimo mirnim sredstvima".

"Neće biti nasilja ili zastrašivanja. Tražimo stvari na demokratski način i koristimo oružje protesta", izjavili su govornici.

Sastanak je nalikovao na staromodni preporod uz glasan pljesak. Pokazalo se izvan svake sumnje da među crncima postoji disciplina u koju su mnogi bijelci sumnjali. To je bila gotovo vojna disciplina u kombinaciji s emocijama.

Odmah su me odvezli kući. Kad smo se približili prizoru, uočio sam stotine ljudi ljutitih lica ispred kuće. Policajci su pokušavali na uobičajen grub način očistiti ulice, ali ih je gomila ignorirala. Jedan crnac govorio je policajcu, koji ga je pokušavao odgurnuti ustranu: "Neću se nigdje micati. U tome je sada problem; vi bijelci nas uvijek gurate. Sada imate svoj .38, a ja svoj ; pa borimo se s tim. " Dok sam hodao prema prednjem dijelu trijema shvatio sam da je mnogo ljudi naoružano. Nenasilni otpor bio je na rubu pretvaranja u nasilje.

U ovoj atmosferi izašao sam na trijem i zamolio okupljene da dođu po red. Za manje od trenutka zavladala je potpuna tišina. Tiho sam im rekao da sam dobro i da su moja supruga i beba dobro. "Nemojmo sad paničariti", nastavio sam. "Ako imate oružje, ponesite ga kući; ako ga nemate, nemojte ga nastojati nabaviti. Taj problem ne možemo riješiti nasiljem odmazde. Moramo se suočiti s nasiljem nenasiljem. Sjetite se Isusovih riječi:" Onaj koji životi od mača nestat će od mača. ' "Zatim sam ih pozvao da mirno odu. "Moramo voljeti svoju bijelu braću", rekao sam, "bez obzira na to što nam rade. Moramo im dati do znanja da ih volimo. Isus i dalje vapi riječima koje odjekuju kroz stoljeća:" Volite svoje neprijatelje; blagoslovite ih koje vas proklinju; molite se za one koji vas unatoč tome koriste. ' To je ono po čemu moramo živjeti. Moramo s ljubavlju susresti mržnju. Zapamtite, "završio sam", ako me zaustave, ovaj pokret neće prestati, jer Bog je s pokretom. Idite kući s ovom užarenom vjerom i ovim blistavim jamstvom . "

Upamtite da ovo nije pobjeda samo za crnce, već za sav Montgomery i jug. Ne hvalite se! Nemojte se hvaliti! Budite tihi, ali prijateljski raspoloženi; ponosan, ali ne i arogantan. Budite dovoljno voljeni da upijete zlo i dovoljno razumijevanja da neprijatelja pretvorite u prijatelja. Ako postoji nasilje na djelu, to ne smiju činiti naši ljudi.


Pregled izložbe

U učionicama širom zemlje i unutar javnog diskursa bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju često simbolizira početak pokreta za građanska prava u Sjedinjenim Državama. S pravom se žene i muškarci, poput Rose Parks, EA Nixon i dr. Martina Luthera Kinga mlađeg, slave kao vođe i heroji pokreta zbog svojih riječi i postupaka koji su prešli nacionalne granice kako bi potaknuli globalnu odlučnost za puno građanstvo i jednakost. druga ljudska bića. Često su manje priznati stotine tisuća pojedinaca koji su se borili zajedno s proslavljenim herojima za koje bez njihovog prisustva i žrtve ne bi postojao pokret za građanska prava.

Ovo je poruka & quotnot samo jednog, & quot; da Smithsonian Exhibit, 381 Dani: Priča o bojkotu autobusa u Montgomeryju, tako dobro priča. Kronološkim labirintom samostojećih zidova ukrašenih osobnim spisima, lokalnom raspravom i nacionalnom pokrivenošću, posjetitelj je u mogućnosti bolje razumjeti složenost, dubinu i herojstvo cijele afroameričke zajednice u vrijeme formiranja modernog pokreta za građanska prava i napredovao. Posjetitelji odlaze s porukom da uspjesi pokreta za građanska prava ne leže samo s nekoliko ljudi, već sa svima koji su žrtvovali i održavali nepopustljivu odlučnost za pravdu i jednakost, bez obzira na to koliko velik ili poznat bio njihov doprinos. Kao što je Claudette Colvin izjavila tijekom svjedočenja na sudu 1956., "Jesmo li imali vođu?" Naši vođe smo mi sami. & Quot

Putujuću izložbu razvila je Služba putujućih izložbi Smithsonian Institution (SITES) u partnerstvu s Knjižnicom i muzejom Sveučilišta Troy Sveučilišta Troy u znak sjećanja na 50. obljetnicu odbijanja Rosa Parksa da napusti svoje mjesto u javnom autobusu u Montgomeryju, Alabama. Njezini su postupci izazvali bojkot autobusa u trajanju od 381 dan u kojem je više od 50.000 sudionika (uglavnom Afroamerikanci) odbilo pokroviteljstvo nad javnim prijevozom sve dok nisu ukinuti zakoni o odvojenom jahanju i sve osobe nisu mogle slobodno voziti. Tijekom bojkota, afroamerička zajednica i saveznici pretrpjeli su teškoće poput uznemiravanja, nasilja i gubitka posla, bilo da su sudjelovali izravno u bojkotu ili jednostavno udruživanjem. Unatoč tim preprekama, potreba za jednakošću mobilizirala je sudionike u silu dovoljno veliku da sruši rasističku politiku odlukom Vrhovnog suda Sjedinjenih Država kojom su lokalni i državni zakoni koji zahtijevaju odvojene autobuse proglašeni neustavnim. Tristo osamdeset jedan dan nakon početka bojkota, Afroamerikanci su se ukrcali u autobus sprijeda i sjeli gdje su htjeli.

Izložba odiše tihom, ali neporecivom odlučnošću i snagom. Dok posjetitelji prolaze uz zidove izložbi, dinamičan glas Martina Luthera Kinga mlađeg koji se obraća razdraganom mnoštvu dopire nad toplim, bogatim melodijama gospel glazbe. Povremeno se Kingove riječi raspršuju u zvukove koraka i sirene automobila koji se stapaju u šuškanje i šaptanje posjetitelja dok čitaju i reagiraju na brojne fotografije, povijesne tekstove, citate, crtiće i video zapise.

Zidne ploče uspoređuju osobne izvještaje sudionika bojkota s lokalnim i nacionalnim novinskim člancima koji pružaju kontekstualne okvire u kojima posjetitelji uče o konkurentnim diskursima o sustavnim promjenama, strahu i budućim mogućnostima. Fotografije prikazuju borbu, odlučnost i ushićenje hvatajući prepune pločnike Afroamerikanaca koji hodaju do svojih domova i iz njih, Afroamerikanaca natrpanih u taksije i osobna vozila, tjednih okupljanja, hitaca policijskih šalica i promatrača koji prolaze pored njih. Konačno, video prikazuje glasne riječi lokalnih čelnika, dijalog i slavljenje pristaša te postojane korake onih koji su izazvali sustav.

Značajan doprinos izložbe je njezina pažnja usmjerena na "između". Tako često se o bojkotu autobusa u Montgomeryju raspravlja u vremenskom vakuumu, kodificiranom događajem Rosa Parks i povratku desegregiranim autobusima. Dok se posjetitelji probijaju kroz izložbu, bojkot doživljavaju kao svakodnevni, mukotrpno dug događaj prepun ponavljajućeg uznemiravanja i nasilja, zastoja, izazova i žrtvovanja. Na primjer, fotografije parkirališta prepunih ljudi sjede nasuprot fotografijama policajaca koji izdaju karte afroameričkim taksistima jer vozačima omogućuju plaćanje minimalne naknade za svoje usluge. Posjetitelji postaju svjesni da se romantizirani trijumfi zajedničkog putovanja, hodanja i umrežavanja nisu lako održali zbog velikog napora kroz fizičku i političku prisilu da se poremeti bojkot i destabilizira zamah.

Zaključak izložbe podsjeća posjetitelje da borbe za građanska prava i jednakost povezane s bojkotom autobusa u Montgomeryju nisu važne samo za našu prošlost nego i za budućnost. Izaziva posjetitelje da se smjeste u tekući razgovor o borbama za građanska prava. Koje pouke možemo izvući iz bojkota autobusa u Montgomeryju? Koliko su ove lekcije relevantne za današnje vrijeme? Koje uloge možemo odigrati kako bismo osigurali jednakost u svijetu koji se stalno mijenja?

Izložba obilježava hrabrost gospođe Rose Parks i pokrete koji su njezini postupci potaknuti, ali i slavi hrabrost i žrtvu onih koji su došli prije nje, borili se uz nju i koji se nastavljaju boriti za jednakost među svim ljudskim bićima .

Sara Artes
Nacionalna konferencija državnih službenika za očuvanje povijesti


Kako je bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju promijenio povijest?

The Bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju bio je prosvjed za građanska prava tijekom kojeg su Afroamerikanci odbili voziti grad autobusima u Montgomery, Alabama, u znak protesta zbog odvojenih sjedenja. The bojkot odvijao se od 5. prosinca 1955. do 20. prosinca 1956. i je smatra se prvom velikom demonstracijom SAD-a protiv segregacije.

Nadalje, kako je bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju ojačao pokret za građanska prava? Svrha ovog protesta bila je okončanje rasno odvojenih sjedala 1955. godine i nakon godinu dana zajedničkog putovanja, uzimanja taksija i hodanja po korumpiranim ulicama u Montgomery, napokon su pobijedili u borbi za prekid desegregacije autobusima'.

Također znate, kako je naacp pomogao bojkotu autobusa u Montgomeryju?

NAACP aktivisti su radili i na lokalnoj razini. Godine 1955. god NAACP članica Rosa Parks odbila je ustupiti svoje mjesto na a Montgomeryjev autobus, pomaganje pokrenuti Bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju to je Kinga dovelo u središte nacionalne pozornosti. The NAACP podržao bojkot tijekom 1956., pružajući NAACP odvjetnici i plaćanje sudskih troškova.

Kako je bojkot autobusa utjecao na ekonomiju?

The ekonomski utjecaj o kućanstvima. Jedan način je poremetio kružni tok Ekonomija je to što je spriječilo grad da dobije novac od javnog prijevoza. To je učinjeno jer su Afroamerikanci bili glavni ljudi koji to rade bojkot i 75% ljudi koji su jahali autobusima gdje Afroamerikanac.


Bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju - povijest

1955. Claudette Colvin, učenica srednje škole u Montgomeryju, Alabama, ukrcala se u gradski autobus. Vožnja je prošla bez incidenata, sve dok je nisu zamolili da se pomakne u stražnji dio autobusa i ustupi svoje mjesto bijelom putniku. Odbila je odgovoriti vozaču autobusa da je njeno "ustavno pravo" ostati sjediti. Zbog njezinog odbijanja, Colvina su uklonili iz autobusa i uhitili.

Nekoliko mjeseci kasnije, Rosa Parks, još jedna stanovnica Montgomeryja i članica Nacionalne udruge za napredak obojenih osoba (NAACP), putovala je kući autobusom. Kad su Parksa zamolili da se pomakne, ona je to odbila i kao Colvina je uhićena.

Colvin i Parks zajedno s drugim prvim prosvjednicima izazvali su cjelogodišnji bojkot autobusnog sustava Montgomery. Bojkot je kulminirao desegregacijom javnog prijevoza u Alabami i u cijeloj zemlji. Iako je pokret najpoznatiji po tome što je katapultirao karijeru mladog velečasnog, dr. Martina Luthera Kinga, mlađeg, bojkot su u velikoj mjeri planirale i izvršile žene Afroamerikanke. Žensko političko vijeće (WPC) bila je organizacija crnkinja aktivnih u aktivnostima i politici protiv segregacije. U velikoj mjeri je bila odgovorna za objavljivanje bojkota autobusa u Montgomeryju.

Jo Ann Robinson bila je predsjednica WPC -a i učiteljica na Alabama State Collegeu kada je počeo bojkot. Prepoznala je nejednakost Afroamerikanaca u javnom prijevozu, ali nije uspjela dobiti podršku za masovni bojkot. Uhićenjem Parksa, Robinson je iskoristio priliku protestirati protiv sustavne diskriminacije autobusnog sustava i gurnuo WPC na posao.

Jedan od mnogih poslova WPC -a bio je objavljivanje bojkota. To je postignuto tiskanjem letaka i njihovo dijeljenje po gradu. Robinson se također obratio i drugim organizacijama poput NAACP -a i Udruge za poboljšanje u Montgomeryju. Žene ne samo da su predstavljale vodstvo u pokretu, već su vodile i svakodnevno planiranje prosvjednika. Postavili su parkiralište za žene koje su radile na velike udaljenosti od svojih domova. Unatoč stalnim prijetnjama nasiljem, bojkot je trajao gotovo godinu dana. Dana 20. prosinca 1956. godine, Vrhovni sud potvrdio je odluku nižeg suda koja je ustvrdila da je neustavno diskriminirati javni prijevoz. Uspjehom bojkota autobusa u Montgomeryju, aktivisti za građanska prava skrenuli su pozornost na integraciju javnih škola.


Sadržaj

Prije bojkota autobusa, zakoni Jima Crowa nalagali su rasnu segregaciju autobusne linije Montgomery. Kao rezultat ove segregacije Afroamerikanci nisu bili angažirani kao vozači, bili su prisiljeni voziti u stražnjem dijelu autobusa, a često im je naređivano da predaju svoja mjesta bijelcima iako su crni putnici činili 75% vozača autobusnog sustava. [2]

Afroameričke putnike napali su i skratili vozači autobusa, osim što su ostali na cjedilu nakon što su platili kartu. Navedeni su brojni razlozi zašto su se vozači autobusa ponašali na ovakav način, uključujući rasizam, [3] frustracije zbog radnih sporova i uvjeta rada, te povećani animozitet prema crncima u reakciji na 1954. godinu Brown protiv Odbora za obrazovanje odluku, a mnogi vozači pridružili su se Vijeću bijelih građana kao rezultat te odluke. [4] [5]

Iako se često uokviruje kao početak pokreta za građanska prava, bojkot se dogodio na kraju borbe crne zajednice na jugu da zaštiti crnke, poput Recy Taylor, od rasnog i seksualnog nasilja. [6] Bojkot se također dogodio u okviru većeg državnog i nacionalnog pokreta za građanska prava, uključujući sudske slučajeve kao što je npr Morgan protiv Virginije, raniji bojkot autobusa Baton Rouge i uhićenje Claudette Colvin jer je odbila ustupiti svoje mjesto u autobusu u Montgomeryju.

Silovanje Recy Taylor Edit

3. rujna 1944. Recy Taylor, crnkinju, silovalo je 6 bijelaca u Abbevilleu u Alabami. [7] Rosa Parks istraživala je njezin slučaj, a ona i zajedno s E.D. Nixon, Rufus A. Lewis i E.G. Jacksona, organizirao obranu Taylor u Montgomeryju. Mobilizirali su nacionalnu podršku sindikata, afroameričkih organizacija i ženskih skupina kako bi osnovali Odbor za jednaku pravdu u Alabami za gospođu Recy Taylor. [8] Iako nisu uspjeli postići pravdu na sudu za Taylor, mobilizacija crnačke zajednice u Alabami postavila je društvene i političke mreže koje su omogućile uspjeh bojkota autobusa u Montgomeryju desetljeće kasnije. [9]

Morgan protiv Virginije odluka Uredi

NAACP je prihvatio i vodio parnične slučajeve, uključujući i slučaj Irene Morgan 1946., što je rezultiralo pobjedom na Vrhovnom sudu SAD -a na temelju toga što su odvojene međudržavne autobusne linije prekršile trgovačku klauzulu. [10] Ta je pobjeda, međutim, poništila zakone o državnoj segregaciji samo u onoj mjeri u kojoj su se primjenjivali na putovanja u međudržavnoj trgovini, kao što su međudržavna autobusna putovanja [11], a južne autobusne tvrtke odmah su zaobišle ​​presudu Morgan uvodeći vlastite propise Jim Crow. [12] Daljnji incidenti nastavili su se događati u Montgomeryju, uključujući uhićenje Lillie Mae Bradford zbog neprimjerenog ponašanja u svibnju 1951., koja je odbila napustiti odjeljak bijelih putnika sve dok vozač autobusa nije izmijenio netočnu naplatu na njezinoj transfernoj karti. [13]

Boton bus autobus bojkotirao Edit

Dana 25. veljače 1953. gradsko-župno vijeće Baton Rougea u Louisiani donijelo je Uredbu 222, nakon što je grad vidio prosvjede Afroamerikanaca kada je vijeće podiglo cijene gradskih autobusa. [14] Pravilnik je ukinuo uvjete rezerviranih mjesta na temelju utrke i omogućio ulazak Afroamerikanaca u prednje dijelove gradskih autobusa ako nije bilo prisutnih bijelih putnika, ali je i dalje zahtijevao da Afroamerikanci uđu straga, a ne ispred autobusa. [15] Međutim, vozači gradskih autobusa nisu primjenjivali pravilnik. Vozači su kasnije stupili u štrajk nakon što su gradske vlasti odbile uhititi časnog T.J. Jemison za sjedenje u prvom redu. [16] Četiri dana nakon početka štrajka, glavni tužitelj Louisiane i bivši gradonačelnik Baton Rougea Fred S. LeBlanc proglasio je uredbu neustavnom prema zakonu države Louisiana. [15] To je navelo velečasnog Jemisona da organizira ono što povjesničari smatraju prvim bojkotom autobusa pokreta za građanska prava. [17] Bojkot je završio nakon osam dana kada je postignut dogovor da se zadrže samo prva dva prednja i zadnja reda kao rasno rezervirana mjesta za sjedenje. [14]

Uhićenje Claudette Colvin Edit

Crni aktivisti počeli su graditi slučaj kojim bi osporavali zakone o segregaciji državnih autobusa oko uhićenja 15-godišnje djevojčice Claudette Colvin, učenice srednje škole Booker T. Washington u Montgomeryju. 2. ožujka 1955. Colvinu su stavljene lisice, uhićen i nasilno uklonjen iz javnog autobusa kada je odbila ustupiti svoje mjesto bijelcu. U to je vrijeme Colvin bio aktivan član u Vijeću mladih NAACP -a, Rosa Parks je bila savjetnica. [18] Colvinov pravni slučaj činio je jezgru Browder protiv Gaylea, čime je okončan bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju kada je Vrhovni sud o tome presudio u prosincu 1956. godine.

Ubojstvo Emmetta Tilla do suđenja i oslobađajuća presuda optuženom Edit

U kolovozu 1955., samo četiri mjeseca prije nego što je Parks odbio dati mjesto u autobusu koji je doveo do bojkota autobusa u Montgomeryju, dva bijelca, John W. Milam, ubila su 14-godišnjeg dječaka iz Chicaga po imenu Emmett Till i Roy Bryant. Slika njegovog brutalno premlaćenog tijela na sprovodu u otvorenom sanduku koju je zatražila njegova majka široko je objavljena, posebno u tjednim novinama Jet, koja je cirkulirala velikim dijelom crnačke zajednice na dubokom sjeveru. Njegovi optuženi ubojice oslobođeni su sljedećeg mjeseca što je izazvalo veliko negodovanje na domaćem i međunarodnom planu. Dugo su priznali da su doista ubili dječaka u intervjuu 24. siječnja 1956. objavljenom u Izgled časopis. [19]

Keys protiv Carolina Coach Co. odluka Uredi

U studenom 1955., samo tri tjedna prije nego što je Parks prkosio zakonima Jima Crowa u Montgomeryju, Međudržavno trgovačko povjerenstvo je, u odgovoru na tužbu privatne žene ženskog vojnog zbora Sarah Keys, zatvorilo rupu u zakonu koja je ostavljena presudom Morgan u značajnom slučaju poznat kao Keys protiv Carolina Coach Co.. [20] ICC je zabranio pojedinim prijevoznicima nametanje vlastitih pravila segregacije međudržavnim putnicima, izjavljujući da je to kršenje odredbi o zabrani diskriminacije Zakona o međudržavnoj trgovini. But neither the Supreme Court's Morgan ruling nor the ICC's Keys ruling addressed the matter of Jim Crow travel within the individual states. [21]

Under the system of segregation used on Montgomery buses, the ten front seats were reserved for white people at all times. The ten back seats were supposed to be reserved for black people at all times. The middle section of the bus consisted of sixteen unreserved seats for white and black people on a segregated basis. [22] White people filled the middle seats from the front to back, and black people filled seats from the back to front until the bus was full. If other black people boarded the bus, they were required to stand. If another white person boarded the bus, then everyone in the black row nearest the front had to get up and stand so that a new row for white people could be created it was illegal for white and black people to sit next to each other. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white person, she was sitting in the first row of the middle section. [23]

Often when boarding the buses, black people were required to pay at the front, get off, and reenter the bus through a separate door at the back. [24] Occasionally, bus drivers would drive away before black passengers were able to reboard. [25] National City Lines owned the Montgomery Bus Line at the time of the Montgomery bus boycott. [26] Under the leadership of Walter Reuther, the United Auto Workers donated almost $5,000 (equivalent to $48,000 in 2020) to the boycott's organizing committee. [27]

Rosa Parks Edit

Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was a seamstress by profession she was also the secretary for the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. Twelve years before her history-making arrest, Parks was stopped from boarding a city bus by driver James F. Blake, who ordered her to board at the rear door and then drove off without her. Parks vowed never again to ride a bus driven by Blake. As a member of the NAACP, Parks was an investigator assigned to cases of sexual assault. In 1945, she was sent to Abbeville, Alabama, to investigate the gang rape of Recy Taylor. The protest that arose around the Taylor case was the first instance of a nationwide civil rights protest, and it laid the groundwork for the Montgomery bus boycott. [28]

In 1955, Parks completed a course in "Race Relations" at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, where nonviolent civil disobedience had been discussed as a tactic. On December 1, 1955, Parks was sitting in the foremost row in which black people could sit (in the middle section). When a white man boarded the bus, the bus driver told everyone in her row to move back. At that moment, Parks realized that she was again on a bus driven by Blake. While all of the other black people in her row complied, Parks refused, and she was arrested [29] for failing to obey the driver's seat assignments, as city ordinances did not explicitly mandate segregation but did give the bus driver authority to assign seats. Found guilty on December 5, [30] Parks was fined $10 plus a court cost of $4 [31] (combined total equivalent to $135 in 2020), and she appealed. [32]

E. D. Nixon Edit

Some action against segregation had been in the works for some time before Parks' arrest, under the leadership of E. D. Nixon, president of the local NAACP chapter and a member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Nixon intended that her arrest be a test case to allow Montgomery's black citizens to challenge segregation on the city's public buses. With this goal, community leaders had been waiting for the right person to be arrested, a person who would anger the black community into action, who would agree to test the segregation laws in court, and who, most importantly, was "above reproach". When Colvin was arrested in March 1955, Nixon thought he had found the perfect person, but the teenager turned out to be pregnant. Nixon later explained, "I had to be sure that I had somebody I could win with." Parks was a good candidate because of her employment and marital status, along with her good standing in the community. [33] [34]

Between Parks' arrest and trial, Nixon organized a meeting of local ministers at Martin Luther King Jr.'s church. Though Nixon could not attend the meeting because of his work schedule, he arranged that no election of a leader for the proposed boycott would take place until his return. When he returned, he caucused with Ralph Abernathy and Rev. E.N. French to name the association to lead the boycott to the city (they selected the "Montgomery Improvement Association", "MIA"), and they selected King (Nixon's choice) to lead the boycott. Nixon wanted King to lead the boycott because the young minister was new to Montgomery and the city fathers had not had time to intimidate him. At a subsequent, larger meeting of ministers, Nixon's agenda was threatened by the clergymen's reluctance to support the campaign. Nixon was indignant, pointing out that their poor congregations worked to put money into the collection plates so these ministers could live well, and when those congregations needed the clergy to stand up for them, those comfortable ministers refused to do so. Nixon threatened to reveal the ministers' cowardice to the black community, and King spoke up, denying he was afraid to support the boycott. King agreed to lead the MIA, and Nixon was elected its treasurer. [35]

Boycott Edit

On the night of Rosa Parks' arrest, the Women's Political Council, led by Jo Ann Robinson, printed and circulated a flyer throughout Montgomery's black community that read as follows:

Another woman has been arrested and thrown in jail because she refused to get up out of her seat on the bus for a white person to sit down. It is the second time since the Claudette Colvin case that a Negro woman has been arrested for the same thing. This has to be stopped. Negroes have rights too, for if Negroes did not ride the buses, they could not operate. Three-fourths of the riders are Negro, yet we are arrested, or have to stand over empty seats. If we do not do something to stop these arrests, they will continue. The next time it may be you, or your daughter, or mother. This woman's case will come up on Monday. We are, therefore, asking every Negro to stay off the buses Monday in protest of the arrest and trial. Don't ride the buses to work, to town, to school, or anywhere on Monday. You can afford to stay out of school for one day if you have no other way to go except by bus. You can also afford to stay out of town for one day. If you work, take a cab, or walk. But please, children and grown-ups, don't ride the bus at all on Monday. Please stay off all buses Monday. [31] [36]

The next morning there was a meeting led by the new MIA head, King, where a group of 16 to 18 people gathered at the Mt. Zion Church to discuss boycott strategies. At that time Rosa Parks was introduced but not asked to speak, despite a standing ovation and calls from the crowd for her to speak she asked someone if she should say something, but they replied, "Why, you've said enough." [37] A citywide boycott of public transit was proposed, with three demands: 1) courteous treatment by bus operators, 2) passengers seated on a first-come, first-served basis, with black people seated in the back half and white people seated in the front half, and 3) black people would be employed as bus operators on routes predominately taken by black people. [38]

This demand was a compromise for the leaders of the boycott, who believed that the city of Montgomery would be more likely to accept it rather than a demand for full integration of the buses. In this respect, the MIA leaders followed the pattern of 1950s boycott campaigns in the Deep South, including the successful boycott a few years earlier of service stations in Mississippi for refusing to provide restrooms for Black people. The organizer of that campaign, T. R. M. Howard of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, had spoken on the lynching of Emmett Till as King's guest at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church only four days before Parks's arrest. Parks was in the audience and later said that Emmett Till was on her mind when she refused to give up her seat. [39]

The MIA's demand for a fixed dividing line was to be supplemented by a requirement that all bus passengers receive courteous treatment by bus operators, be seated on a first-come, first-served basis, and that Black people be employed as bus drivers. [40] The proposal was passed, and the boycott was to commence the following Monday. To publicize the impending boycott it was advertised at black churches throughout Montgomery the following Sunday. [41]

On Saturday, December 3, it was evident that the black community would support the boycott, and very few Black people rode the buses that day. On December 5, a mass meeting was held at the Holt Street Baptist Church to determine if the protest would continue. [42] Given twenty minutes notice, King gave a speech [43] asking for a bus boycott and attendees enthusiastically agreed. Starting December 7, J Edgar Hoover's FBI noted the "agitation among negroes" and tried to find "derogatory information" about King. [44]

The boycott proved extremely effective, with enough riders lost to the city transit system to cause serious economic distress. Martin Luther King later wrote, "[a] miracle had taken place." Instead of riding buses, boycotters organized a system of carpools, with car owners volunteering their vehicles or themselves driving people to various destinations. Some white housewives also drove their black domestic servants to work. When the city pressured local insurance companies to stop insuring cars used in the carpools, the boycott leaders arranged policies at Lloyd's of London. [45]

Black taxi drivers charged ten cents per ride, a fare equal to the cost to ride the bus, in support of the boycott. When word of this reached city officials on December 8, the order went out to fine any cab driver who charged a rider less than 45 cents. In addition to using private motor vehicles, some people used non-motorized means to get around, such as cycling, walking, or even riding mules or driving horse-drawn buggies. Some people also hitchhiked. During rush hours, sidewalks were often crowded. As the buses received few, if any, passengers, their officials asked the City Commission to allow stopping service to black communities. [46] Across the nation, black churches raised money to support the boycott and collected new and slightly used shoes to replace the tattered footwear of Montgomery's black citizens, many of whom walked everywhere rather than ride the buses and submit to Jim Crow laws. [ potreban je citat ]

In response, opposing whites swelled the ranks of the White Citizens' Council, the membership of which doubled during the course of the boycott. The councils sometimes resorted to violence: King's and Abernathy's houses were firebombed, as were four black Baptist churches. Boycotters were often physically attacked. After the attack at King's house, he gave a speech to the 300 angry African Americans who had gathered outside. On je rekao:

If you have weapons, take them home if you do not have them, please do not seek to get them. We cannot solve this problem through retaliatory violence. We must meet violence with nonviolence. Remember the words of Jesus: "He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword". We must love our white brothers, no matter what they do to us. We must make them know that we love them. Jesus still cries out in words that echo across the centuries: "Love your enemies bless them that curse you pray for them that despitefully use you". This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love. Remember, if I am stopped, this movement will not stop, because God is with the movement. Go home with this glowing faith and this radiant assurance. [47]

King and 88 other boycott leaders and carpool drivers were indicted [48] for conspiring to interfere with a business under a 1921 ordinance. [49] Rather than wait to be arrested, they turned themselves in as an act of defiance. [50]

King was ordered to pay a $500 fine or serve 386 days in jail. He ended up spending two weeks in jail. The move backfired by bringing national attention to the protest. King commented on the arrest by saying: "I was proud of my crime. It was the crime of joining my people in a nonviolent protest against injustice." [51]

Also important during the bus boycott were grassroots activist groups that helped to catalyze both fund-raising and morale. Groups such as the Club from Nowhere helped to sustain the boycott by finding new ways of raising money and offering support to boycott participants. [52] Many members of these organizations were women and their contributions to the effort have been described by some as essential to the success of the bus boycott. [53] [54]

Victory Edit

Pressure increased across the country. The related civil suit was heard in federal district court and, on June 5, 1956, the court ruled in Browder v. Gayle (1956) that Alabama's racial segregation laws for buses were unconstitutional. [56] As the state appealed the decision, the boycott continued. The case moved on to the United States Supreme Court. On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court upheld the district court's ruling. [57] [58]

The bus boycott officially ended on December 20, 1956, after 381 days. The Montgomery bus boycott resounded far beyond the desegregation of public buses. It stimulated activism and participation from the South in the national Pokret za ljudska prava and gave King national attention as a rising leader. [55] [59]

White backlash against the court victory was quick, brutal, and, in the short term, effective. [60] [61] Two days after the inauguration of desegregated seating, someone fired a shotgun through the front door of Martin Luther King's home. A day later, on Christmas Eve, white men attacked a black teenager as she exited a bus. Four days after that, two buses were fired upon by snipers. In one sniper incident, a pregnant woman was shot in both legs. On January 10, 1957, bombs destroyed five black churches and the home of Reverend Robert S. Graetz, one of the few white Montgomerians who had publicly sided with the MIA. [62] [63]

The City suspended bus service for several weeks on account of the violence. According to legal historian Randall Kennedy, "When the violence subsided and service was restored, many black Montgomerians enjoyed their newly recognized right only abstractly . In practically every other setting, Montgomery remained overwhelmingly segregated . " [63] On January 23, a group of Klansmen (who would later be charged for the bombings) lynched a black man, Willie Edwards, on the pretext that he was dating a white woman. [64]

The city's elite moved to strengthen segregation in other areas, and in March 1957 passed an ordinance making it "unlawful for white and colored persons to play together, or, in company with each other . in any game of cards, dice, dominoes, checkers, pool, billiards, softball, basketball, baseball, football, golf, track, and at swimming pools, beaches, lakes or ponds or any other game or games or athletic contests, either indoors or outdoors." [63]

Later in the year, Montgomery police charged seven Klansmen with the bombings, but all of the defendants were acquitted. About the same time, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled against Martin Luther King's appeal of his "illegal boycott" conviction. [65] Rosa Parks left Montgomery due to death threats and employment blacklisting. [66] According to Charles Silberman, "by 1963, most Negroes in Montgomery had returned to the old custom of riding in the back of the bus." [67]

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice contains, among other things, a sculpture "dedicated to the women who sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott", by Dana King, to help illustrate the civil rights period. [68] The memorial opened in downtown Montgomery, Alabama on April 26, 2018. [69] [70]


How Automobiles Helped Power the Civil Rights Movement

The driver glanced nervously into his rear-view mirror. The police motorcycles he had noticed a few blocks earlier were definitely trailing him. He glanced at his speedometer, determined to follow every traffic law. Then, as he stopped to let a passenger out of his car, the motorcycles pulled up toward him and it began: an ordeal mirrored every day by African American people hassled by the police for minor infractions. Two armed police officers demanded he get out of the car, then arrested him. Soon a patrol car arrived to take him to jail.

As the police cruiser turned down the dark streets of Montgomery, Alabama, he worried the police might beat him and leave him for dead. Instead, they took their time as they drove.

It was 1956, and Martin Luther King, Jr. had just been arrested for the first time.

The grounds for King’s arrest were that he had supposedly been driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone. But he knew the real reason he was being hassled: The civil rights leader had been using his car to help participants in the Montgomery bus boycott.

King was one of hundreds of people cited that week in 1956—people who used a carefully orchestrated carpool system to help smash the segregated bus system in the Alabama capital. Black-owned automobiles helped ensure the historic boycott’s success.

“Without the automobile, the bus boycott in Montgomery would not have been possible,” says Gretchen Sorin. Her book Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights tells the sweeping story of African Americans and automobiles—a tale of mobility and mobilization that helped fuel the Civil Rights Movement. A PBS documentary based on the book will air this fall.

Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

U Driving While Black, the acclaimed historian Gretchen Sorin reveals how the car―the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility―has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the many dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road.

African American mobility had always been political slaveholders tried to limit the movement of enslaved people, Southern states attempted to reinstate laws that limited black travel during Reconstruction, and when that came to an end, public transportation emerged as a proving ground for Jim Crow segregation. By the 1950s, African Americans from the South had endured decades of inferior “separate but equal” conveyances that reinforced white supremacy.

The Montgomery bus boycott was intended to challenge those unequal structures with the power of the purse. As Sorin writes, white Montgomery bus drivers were known for being particularly vicious, and the “self-appointed vigilante enforcers” of the humiliating segregation system went out of their way to remind black passengers of their supposed inferiority.

But African American protesters had a powerful weapon on their side: cars. Automobiles helped fuel the Great Migration, and black people exercised their mobility whenever they could. By the 1950s, Sorin notes, about 475,000 African American families are thought to have owned at least one car, half of which they purchased new. People who were prevented from buying their own houses due to redlining and other discriminatory practices instead invested in sanctuaries with wheels.

“The automobile gave African-Americans freedom from humiliation and the ability to go where they wanted to go, when they wanted to go,” Sorin explains. Under segregation, she says, African Americans lived under constant frustration and fear. “One of the things that was great about having an automobile was that your children could be safely ensconced in the back seat. You’d be driving up front, and there was no opportunity for people to say anything horrible.” Private car ownership offered the opposite of segregated buses, where African American passengers were forced to sit in the back or stand in deference to white passengers.

By the time Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in a whites-only section of the bus in December 1955, African American leaders had been planning a city-wide bus boycott for months. Organizers knew that to make a major bus boycott work, they’d have to ensure that on-strike riders had a way to protest without losing their livelihoods.

“Think about how much territory a bus line covers,” says Sorin. “It’s miles and miles of road, and people have to get to work. If people are used to taking buses, not many of them can walk to work. People had to continue to get to work or they would lose their jobs.”

The Montgomery Improvement Association, the community organization that organized the boycott, saw private automobile ownership as a powerful alternative to the bus systems. As important as their list of demands was their plan for keep the boycott going. At first, they benefited from black taxi organizers who charged ten cents, the same fare as the buses, for rides in town. But when city officials forbade them from charging less than .45 per ride, protesters changed tactics and established a private taxi service of their own.

The elaborate carpool relied on a fleet of 15 “rolling churches”—station wagons donated to black churches by Northern supporters that were harder to seize than privately owned cars—to serve the 17,000 African American bus riders who took the buses twice every day. The service was like a carpool on steroids and relied on a combination of logistical smarts and improvisation. A black farmers’ association rented a safe parking lot to the fleet for cheap, and organizers arranged for a dispatch system. When white insurance companies refused to insure the cars, an African American insurance agent based in Montgomery finagled insurance through Lloyd’s of London instead. “It was no small effort to manage this fleet of vehicles,” says Sorin. Private drivers participated, too, and those who didn’t help as part of the formal pool arranged rides for one another and picked up hitchhikers.

Drivers needed something else: funds for gas and maintenance. To get them, they relied on donations and the unpaid labor of women within the movement. “Women stepped up,” says Sorin. Women who worked thankless domestic jobs in white homes opened their own homes to civil rights workers from the North, drove others to and from work, and spent their evenings and weekends cooking for bake sales and food sales. “They sold sandwiches, They sold chicken. They sold cake and pie. And they made money for the movement.” Often, says Sorin, their white customers had no idea their purchases had helped fund the boycott.

Those who did carpool during the boycott had to stay vigilant, especially when W.A. Gayle, Montgomery’s white mayor, instituted a “get tough” policy that involved monitoring boycott-friendly drivers for any real or imagined traffic infraction. He even announcing a false settlement in the hopes of breaking the boycott.

“Every single time an African American family went out on the road, they were doing something potentially very dangerous,” says Sorin. “They were challenging white supremacy. They were challenging the status quo. They were challenging segregation. While it was dangerous, it was also courageous.” Boycott or no boycott, the seemingly everyday act of getting behind a wheel was symbolic for black drivers.

Eleven months into the boycott, though, the carpools came to an abrupt halt when Montgomery slapped them with an injunction claiming they were a private enterprise operating without a legal permit. The legal move shook King and other organizers, but the maneuver had come too late for the segregationists. On the same day a federal court upheld the city’s ban, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down bus segregation as unconstitutional. As historian Doron Shultziner notes, the injunction could have “literally stopped the wheels of the car-pooling system and of the Montgomery bus boycott” if officials had realized they could use it earlier.

Instead, the boycott only lasted another month and in December 1956, more than a year after Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus, ended in triumph. The Civil Rights Movement’s footsoldiers had proved their willingness to walk to work rather than give their money to a bus system that discriminated against them—but they got plenty of help from a fleet of four-wheeled vehicles of progress.


Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56)

The Montgomery Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama was a crucial event in the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement. On the evening of December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks, a Montgomery seamstress on her way home from work, refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white man and was subsequently arrested. The President of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), E.D. Nixon, used the arrest to launch a bus boycott to fight the city’s segregated bus policy. Together with Jo Ann Robinson of the Women’s Political Council, and other black leaders, Nixon set plans for the boycott.

The idea of the boycott had been floating around for months. Both Nixon and Robinson were waiting for a test cast to challenge the segregated bus policy in Court. They knew that they would have large support from black women who made up a majority of the bus users. The only thing missing was a good test candidate and respectable, middle-class Rosa Parks seemed perfect for the role.

On Friday December 2, Robinson created a flyer which she distributed to black families around Montgomery. The flyer told of the arrest of Parks and mentioned that 75% of the bus riders were blacks and if there was a boycott of the bus system then the city would be forced to pay attention to these customers. It then called for a boycott of the buses on Monday December 5th.

Robinson arranged a meeting with Rev. Ralph Abernathy and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the ministers of two of the largest black churches in the city. While they hesitated at first, they ultimately agreed to participate and held a meeting at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, King’s church, to plan the boycott. A new organization, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), was created to lead the boycott and Rev. King was appointed its president. It was also decided that the boycott should continue until the buses were no longer segregated. In order to get people around town during the boycott, the churches bought or rented cars and station wagons to transport people.


Bojkot autobusa u Montgomeryju

Sixty years ago, Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old black woman, refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama, public bus.

On December 1, 1955, Parks, a seamstress and secretary for the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was taking the bus home after a long day of work.

The white section of the bus had filled, so the driver asked Parks to give up her seat in the designated black section of the bus to accommodate a white passenger.

When it became apparent after several minutes of argument that Parks would not relent, the bus driver called the police. Parks was arrested for being in violation of Chapter 6, Section 11, of the Montgomery City Code, which upheld a policy of racial segregation on public buses.

Parks was not the first person to engage in this act of civil disobedience.

Earlier that year, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. She was arrested, but local civil rights leaders were concerned that she was too young and poor to be a sympathetic plaintiff to challenge segregation.

Parks—a middle-class, well-respected civil rights activist—was the ideal candidate.

Just a few days after Parks’s arrest, activists announced plans for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The boycott, which officially began December 5, 1955, did not support just Parks but countless other African Americans who had been arrested for the same reason.

E. D. Nixon, president of the local NAACP chapter, called for all African-American citizens to boycott the public bus system to protest the segregation policy. Nixon and his supporters vowed to abstain from riding Montgomery public buses until the policy was abolished.

Instead of buses, African Americans took taxis driven by black drivers who had lowered their fares in support of the boycott, walked, cycled, drove private cars, and even rode mules or drove in horse-drawn carriages to get around. African-American citizens made up a full three-quarters of regular bus riders, causing the boycott to have a strong economic impact on the public transportation system and on the city of Montgomery as a whole.

The boycott was proving to be a successful means of protest.

The city of Montgomery tried multiple tactics to subvert the efforts of boycotters. They instituted regulations for cab fares that prevented black cab drivers from offering lower fares to support boycotters. The city also pressured car insurance companies to revoke or refuse insurance to black car owners so they could not use their private vehicles for transportation in lieu of taking the bus.

Montgomery’s efforts were futile as the local black community, with the support of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., churches—and citizens around the nation—were determined to continue with the boycott until their demand for racially integrated buses was met.

The boycott lasted from December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks was arrested, to December 20, 1956, when Browder v. Gayle, a Federal ruling declaring racially segregated seating on buses to be unconstitutional, took effect.

Although it took more than a year, Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat on a public bus sparked incredible change that would forever impact civil rights in the United States.

Parks continued to raise awareness for the black struggle in America and the Civil Rights movement for the rest of her life. For her efforts she was awarded both the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given by the executive branch, and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor given by the legislative branch.

To learn more about the life of Rosa Parks, read Michael Hussey’s 2013 Pieces of History post Honoring the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.”

And plan your visit to the National Archives to view similar documents in our “Records of Rights” exhibit or explore documents in our online catalog.

Copies of documents relating to Parks’s arrest submitted as evidence in the Browder v. Gayle case are held in the National Archives at Atlanta in Morrow, Georgia.


Montgomery Bus Boycott Timeline

Professor Joann Robinson, president of the Women’s Political Council (WPC), meets with Montgomery city officials to discuss changes to the bus system—namely segregation.

On March 2, Claudette Colvin, a fifteen-year-old girl from Montgomery, is arrested for refusing to allow a white passenger to sit in her seat. Colvin is charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and violating segregation laws.

Throughout the month of March, local African-American leaders meet with Montgomery city administrators concerning segregated buses. local NAACP president E.D. Nixon, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks are present at the meeting. However, Colvin’s arrest does not ignite anger in the African-American community and a boycott plan is not devised.

On October 21, Eighteen-year-old Mary Louise Smith is arrested for not giving up her seat to a white bus rider.

On December 1, Rosa Parks is arrested for not allowing a white man to sit in her seat on the bus.

The WPC launches a one-day bus boycott on December 2. Robinson also creates and distributes flyers throughout Montgomery’s African-American community concerning Parks’ case and a call to action: boycott the bus system of December 5.

On December 5, the boycott was held and almost all members of Montgomery’s African-American community participate. Robinson reached out to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy, pastors at two of the largest African-American churches in Montgomery. The Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) is established and King is elected president. The organization also votes to extend the boycott.

By December 8, the MIA presented a formal list of demands to Montgomery city officials. Local officials refuse to desegregate buses.

On December 13, the MIA creates a carpooling system for African-American residents participating in the boycott.

King’s home is bombed on January 30. The following day, E.D. Dixon’s home is also bombed.

On February 21, more than 80 leaders of the boycott are indicted as a result of Alabama’s anti-conspiracy laws.

King is indicted as the boycott’s leader on March 19. He is ordered to pay $500 or serve 386 days in jail.

Bus segregation is ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court on June 5.

By November 13, the Supreme Court upheld the district court’s ruling and struck down laws legalizing racial segregation on buses. However, the MIA will not end the boycott until the desegregation of buses was officially enacted.

On December 20, the Supreme Court’s injunction against public buses is delivered to Montgomery city officials.

The following day, December 21, Montgomery public buses are desegregated and the MIA ends its boycott.


Montgomery Bus Boycott - History

The end of discrimination on public buses in the south

In December of 1955, 42,000 black residents of Montgomery began a year-long boycott of city buses to protest racially segregated seating. After 381 days of taking taxis, carpooling, and walking the hostile streets of Montgomery, African Americans eventually won their fight to desegregate seating on public buses, not only in Montgomery, but throughout the United States.

The protest was first organized by the Women's Political Council as a one-day boycott to coincide with the trial of Rosa Parks , who had been arrested on December 2, 1955, for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated Montgomery bus. By the next morning, the Council, led by JoAnn Robinson, had printed 52,000 fliers asking Montgomery blacks to stay off public buses on December 5, the day of the trial. Meanwhile, labor activist E.D. Nixon, who had bailed Parks out of jail, notified Ralph Abernathy, minister of the First Baptist Church, and Martin Luther King Jr., the new minister at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, of Parks' arrest. A group of about 50 black leaders and one white minister, Robert Graetz, gathered in the basement of King's church to endorse the boycott and begin planning a massive rally for the evening of the trial.

On the morning of Parks' trial, buses rumbled nearly empty through the streets of Montgomery. Police officers with shotguns roamed in search of imaginary "Negro goon squads" whom they believed were forcing blacks to stay off the buses.

After Parks lost her case and was convicted of violating the segregated seating laws, black leaders met again to organize an extension of the bus boycott. To this end, they formed the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), and elected King as its president. That evening, 7000 blacks crowded into Holt Street Baptist Church, where King addressed and inspired the audience with his words: "There comes a time when people get tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression." Even as the protesters and black leaders were confronted with escalating violence, they maintained both nonviolent resistance and their exhausting day-to-day schedule without public transportation. In June, a federal court ruled segregated seating unconstitutional, and the case went on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court under the case name Browder v. Gayle. (also see Claudette Colvin)

The Montgomery Bus Boycott had implications that reached far beyond the desegregation of public buses. The protest propelled the Civil Rights Movement into national consciousness and Martin Luther King Jr. into the public eye.


Gledaj video: PROMET AUTOBUSA U KRUZNOM TOKU 14112016 (Lipanj 2022).


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