One of the events during this time period was the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It was considered a major turning point as Rosa Parks - a seamstress worker and member of the NAACP refused to move from the segregated area of the bus, causing outrage throughout the black community. King organized a protest where for 381 days people refused to use the buses. As a result the bus companies of Montgomery lost masses of money which emphasized the importance of the black community, and the powerful influence that King had within America as he was able to lead them to success showing the effectiveness of non-violent protest. However, there were limitations of the bus boycott; the campaign lasted from December 1, 1955 to December 20, 1956 when a federal ruling, Browder v. Gayle, took effect, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional.
It shows how racism caused so many unjustly crimes towards the African American race. According to Raymond Arsenault, author of Freedom Riders, they were formed because of the desegregation laws in the south to start a national movement. The six members of whites and blacks were sent out on public transportation together to violate segregation laws in the south. Genevieve Houghton, member of the Freedom Rider, stated they were sent on the Greyhound bus to locate segregation and desegregation in the south as a two week trip. John Lewis, member of the Freedom Rider, also stated
The book that I am reviewing is The Rebellious life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis. She is a professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. In this book she writes about Rosa Parks and her life up to her arrest on that fateful day on the 1st of December year 1955 and about her life after. Another point that’s written about is the infamous bus boycott that ultimately began the integration of multiple public institutions. The purpose for Jeanne Theoharis to write this book was tell the story of a national hero who fought the racial injustice during that time period.
Early on in their marriage, Rosa found herself worrying about her husband’s safety due to his own involvement in political activities. These roles would later reverse drastically, leaving Raymond as the more worried spouse. Rosa attended her first NAACP meeting in 1943 and was deeply interested in the work they were doing. She did whatever she could to help the cause, including joining many committees for the organization. Here she made many important contacts who would play important roles later on in her life, including E.D.
The boycott bought 85% of the black community in Montgomery together and led to the establishment of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) by King which continued to campaign for desegregation. The campaign continued with full vigour until the Supreme Court case of Browder vs. Gayle which occurred during the same time outlawed segregation on buses in Montgomery. This demonstrates the importance of peaceful protest, as without this campaign occurring in the first place it would not have led to the court case that bought about change; so there is evidence to suggest peaceful protests played a vital role in encouraging others to bring about change.
Southern blacks simply stopped using the bus system to show that they weren't going to be treated unfairly, by the community, government and bus system. Every week the black community would gather and have a meeting about the protest, the leader of these gatherings would emerge to be Martin L. King who took charge of the boycott with the influential backing of the church. After over a year of boycotting the busses they went to the Supreme Court to prove that it was not legal to segregate blacks from whites on public transportation. Eventually, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to separate people based on their race. When the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the blacks, they knew it was going to change their way of life.
Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Right Acts of 1965 guaranteeing basic civil rights for all Americans, regardless of race, after a decade of non-violent protests and marches. Throughout the novel, there were many different means of non-violent protests. The black community were taking a different approach to the racism unlike the white people who were very violent and abusive. The black people wanted to be free from the segregation and would do anything to escape it, if they had of fought back matters may have been made worse and their lives would have been made even more unbearable. One of the forms of non-violent protests was Boycotts.
The freedom rides were when civil rights activists rode interstate buses into the southern US in 1961 to test the supreme courts decision of ruling segregation on interstate transport illegal. As soon as the riders hit Montgomery, they were mobbed and attacked by white southerners. Each of these actions showed the world that peaceful means were being used to try and gain true equality as well as including whites this meant the movement widened. The Albany campaign in November 1961 was recognised as a major defeat. Under William Anderson, a number of local black organisations were formed in an attempt to desegregate the city.
What was the short term significance of Rosa Parks? Rosa Parks was a 42 year-old seamstress that, through a simple act of defiance would kick start the Civil rights Movement in America. In 1955, she began the chain of events by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. This sparked outrage in the African-American community and was met with a boycott that would become the most famous boycott in the struggle for Black rights in America, commencing on the December 1st 1955 until Dec. 20th 1956. She was made a figure-head of the NAACPs cases as unlike many others (such as Claudette Colvin) was the ‘perfect’ citizen regardless of colour.
Furthermore, the NAACP supported the case against Milam and Bryant in 1955 for the lynching of 14-year old Emmett Till, the NAACP helped by protecting his uncle Moses Wright. This allowed Mose Wright to give his testimony, drawing media attention in the blatant racism in the Deep South. The NAACP was also responsible for the success of the Civil Rights Campaign through peaceful protests, for example they organised the Montgomery Bus Boycott which led to the desegregation of buses in Alabama in the Bowler v. Gayle case. The Role of Individuals was another factor contributing to the success of the Civil Rights Campaign during 1945-57. Rosa Parks helped as she started the bus boycott of Montgomery by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger.