File Name: the montgomery bus boycott and the woman who started it .zip
After her father's death, Robinson, her mother, and her eleven other siblings moved to Macon, Georgia. Robinson excelled in school and earned valedictorian at her high school in her graduating year. She became the first person in her family to graduate from college, attending Fort Valley State College.
Montgomery bus boycott , mass protest against the bus system of Montgomery , Alabama , by civil rights activists and their supporters that led to a U. The day bus boycott also brought the Rev.
Everyone thinks they know the story, but the real history of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott is even better.
This episode details the events that set the stage for Ms. Own the book that inspired and informs season three of the Teaching Hard History podcast! Hasan Kwame Jeffries : Other than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And other than Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries : On December 1st, , when Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, she sparked a year-long boycott that ended segregated public transportation in the "Heart of Dixie.
She continued to fight for African-American freedom rights for several decades, only slowing down when failing health made it impossible for her to do more.
Among other things, it overstates the contributions of some while understating the contributions of others.
She examines the social and political events leading up to the boycott, the strong community networks and local leaders who transformed that protest moment into a year-long campaign, and how this grassroots movement shaped the leadership of a young Reverend Dr.
Also, you will hear historical documents, oral histories and courtroom testimonies brought to life through reenactments of these primary sources. Emilye Crosby : The Montgomery bus boycott, what I call the myth of Montgomery, fits the master narrative so well. She gets arrested. And then immediately Dr.
King steps up, leads the bus boycott and you get no sense that this bus boycott takes over a year. This kind of reinforces for me why it is so important that students actually analyze primary sources themselves and sort of do the work as historians. I can fill some of this in and I can give them context, but the more they analyze themselves, the more they develop their own interpretations.
One, they're developing important skills that they need, but also I think they're actually more likely to believe what they're learning. It's more likely to be meaningful to them. And, you know, I don't want them to simply replace one set of mythologies with what I tell them.
And the Women's Political Council wrote this letter about conditions on the buses. They're asking for some changes and threatening a boycott. If Negroes did not patronize them, they could not possibly operate. More and more of our people are already arranging with neighbors and friends to ride to keep from being insulted and humiliated by bus drivers.
Voice Actor, Jo Ann Robinson: There has been talk from 25 or more local organizations of planning a city-wide boycott of buses. We, sir, do not feel that forceful measures are necessary in bargaining for conveniences which is right for all bus passengers. We, the council, believe that when this matter has been put before you and the Commissioners, that agreeable terms can be met in a quiet and unostensible manner to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Voice Actor, Jo Ann Robinson: Many of our Southern cities in neighboring states have practiced the policies we seek without incident whatsoever. Atlanta, Macon and Savannah in Georgia have done this for years. Even Mobile in our own state does this, and all passengers are satisfied. Voice Actor, Jo Ann Robinson: Please consider this plea, and if possible act favorably upon it, for even now plans are being made to ride less or not at all on our buses. We do not want this. Emilye Crosby : So one of the things that students can very quickly learn from this letter is that the issues on the bus weren't quite as simple as Black people being forced to sit in the back of the bus.
And this letter was written about 18 months before the bus boycott starts. So it tells us that there's concern about the issues on the buses long before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.
Students are so conditioned, or they so much expect that the issues of the movement are integration, opposing segregation. So they assume that.
And so even when the letter doesn't really say anything about that, they kind of go there anyway. So we'll work through it. Voice Actor, Jo Ann Robinson: Dear Sir, The Women's Political Council is very grateful to you and the City Commissioners for the hearing you allowed our representatives during the month of March, , when the city bus fare increase case was being reviewed.
A city law that would make it possible for Negroes to sit from back toward front and the whites from front toward back until all seats are taken. Emilye Crosby : So they're asking for a city law to eliminate the common situation of empty seats in the white section with many African Americans standing.
So you'll have crowds of African Americans standing on top of each other in the back of the bus and empty seats that they can't use. And in the case of Rosa Parks, she was actually sitting in a part of the bus that they called "No man's land. You know, a lot of people say she was sitting in the white section, but she wasn't. She was sitting in a place that African Americans were allowed to sit. But once the driver asked her to give that seat up, in theory, she had to give that seat up.
Voice Actor, Jo Ann Robinson: 2. That Negroes not be asked or forced to pay fare at front and go to the rear of the bus to enter. Like, you know, you're getting on the bus, you know, you pay your money, you're dropping your coins in. And instead of continuing on and finding a seat, you have to get off, walk around to the back, step up and onto the bus.
And that's if you're lucky. Sometimes the bus driver will drive away and leave you. Voice Actor, Jo Ann Robinson: 3. That buses stop at every corner in residential sections occupied by Negroes as they do in communities where whites reside. We are happy to report that buses have begun stopping at more corners now in some sections where Negroes live than previously.
However, the same practices in seating and boarding the bus continue. Emilye Crosby : So basically, stop with the same level of frequency so African Americans don't have to walk further to catch the bus or after they get off the bus. And so once we've gone through these specifics, I say again to my students, "So what's this about? The issue is really extreme mistreatment. They're being brutalized on the buses. They're called all kinds of racist names, but they're also physically attacked.
Emilye Crosby : I will also assign other primary sources with this letter. And so when the students read the primary sources, they'll read accounts of people like a veteran, he was blinded during World War Two. He and his wife are going to the VA hospital. He's stepping off the bus, the driver catches his foot in the door and pulls away, dragging him along the street.
Another example: a bus driver wouldn't let a man on the bus. He said he was drunk. The driver calls the police. The police come and actually shoot and kill the man on the bus. Emilye Crosby : What does the Women's Political Council say might happen if the mayor and city commission don't address the concerns? So she's threatening the economic ramifications if Black people boycott the buses. Not only are they talking about the possibility of a boycott, but they're pointing out that there are already people who are boycotting on their own.
Emilye Crosby : You've also got the fact that there's actually at least 25 or more organizations in the community that are concerned about bus issues and considering a boycott. So this letter is from one organization, but they're talking about an issue that is of concern to many people and organizations that go beyond them. So in terms of the things that I want students to get out of it, one is how long people in Montgomery have been actively working on this issue, the extent to which it's an issue that is of interest to many people in the community, and that there are a lot of organizations that are interested in or already working on it.
The fact that it's not about the things that they might assume, it's not about integration, and that the issues of segregation are really about serious mistreatment, a real abuse of power. Emilye Crosby : As you use the letter as a starting place and add more and more pieces of the history, it continues to go in an almost completely opposite direction of what they assume.
And in my experience, students get really excited about this, and angry about a feeling that they've been misled, and really open to learning something different. And this podcast is produced in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Press, publishers of this collection of essays, which I edited.
From now until the end of the year, they are offering a 30 percent discount to listeners who order this collection. Emilye Crosby : I think a lot of people think they know who Rosa Parks is, but of course the picture that they have of her is a very kind of flat one.
She's just a kind of a passive prop in somebody else's story. She doesn't give up her seat and then this boycott launches around her. And the reality, of course, is a much more complicated one, and she's a much more interesting person. Rosa Parks is a long-time activist.
Nixon , who was probably the foremost Black leader in Montgomery at the time. Rosa Parks and her husband had worked on freeing the Scottsboro Boys in the '30s, when they were falsely charged with rape and almost executed. Recy Taylor. And some of the same people that were involved in that were also central to the Montgomery bus boycott. Emilye Crosby : So she was raised and lived as somebody with a real sense of strong racial identity and pride.
And, you know, sometimes people are surprised, for example, that she was a strong supporter of Malcolm X and Robert Williams, who's best known for armed self defense. You know, people have this idea of her as sweet and passive and nonviolent.
And, you know, she wasn't violent, but she was a fighter. Emilye Crosby : Sometimes when students understand that Rosa Parks is an activist, when they understand that there was interest already in a boycott, they think that the whole thing was a setup or a plant. And so I try to get them to think about something that's in between. So Mrs. Parks had this incredibly long, rich history of activism in the community. She also had a history of conflicts with bus drivers.
Now she held his heart in her hands. She hosted a weekly poker party, enjoyed car racing, and brewed her own beer. Up until a few weeks ago, he might have been happy to take that side trip, but he no longer wanted to. Not with another woman on his mind. Just remember, every time you let yourself run down, you get the flu. And not because her mother had a tendency to be chunky and Faith was afraid of getting the same way, but because she wanted to practice what she preached.
Everyone thinks they know the story, but the real history of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott is even better. This episode details the events that set the stage for Ms. Own the book that inspired and informs season three of the Teaching Hard History podcast!
And we are not wrong. When Colvin was arrested in March , Nixon thought he had found the perfect person, but the teenager turned out to be pregnant. In other areas of the country, similar demonstrations occurred in which African Americans stood up to injustice. The planned protest received unexpected publicity in the weekend newspapers and in radio and television reports.
People know about Martin Luther King Jr. A podcast episode featuring this interview with Taylor was originally published on Berkeley News in This is a new version that has been rewritten and remixed. The bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, which started in December and lasted more than a year, was a protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system. During the boycott, volunteer drivers gave rides to would-be bus passengers. Photo taken in by Dan Weiner; copyright John Broderick. Ula Taylor: People know about Rosa Parks.
The Montgomery Buy Boycott and the Women Women Who. Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, ed. David J. Garrow (University of Tennessee.
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The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a political and a social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery , Alabama. It was a seminal event in the civil rights movement in the United States. The campaign lasted from December 5, —the Monday after Rosa Parks , an African-American woman, was arrested for her refusal to surrender her seat to a white person—to December 20, , when the federal ruling Browder v. Gayle took effect, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws that segregated buses were unconstitutional. African-American passengers were also attacked and shortchanged by bus drivers in addition to being left stranded after paying their fares. A number of reasons have been given for why bus drivers acted in this manner, including racism ,  frustrations over labor disputes and labor conditions, and increased animosity towards blacks in reaction to the Brown v.