Remembering: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Thursday, December 01, 2022
On a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama, on this date, in 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks had enough. On this date Mrs. Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man. She was already seated in the “colored” section of the bus, but the “whites” section was full. It was customary for Blacks to give up their seat for whites, but Mrs. Parks was not feeling compliant that day. She was not tired as she is frequently depicted in historical recounting of the incident, at least not physically. She was tired of the denigrating treatment of Black customers who used the public transportation system in Montgomery Alabama. She had enough.
Unbeknownst to many today, prior to Mrs. Parks’ arrest, Black women had already started organizing a protest through a group called the Women's Political Council or WPC. They started a couple of years earlier in 1953. In March 1955, a few months prior to the arrest of Rosa Parks, a teenager by the name of Claudette Colvin refuse to give up her seat. The people had enough.
The Montgomery bus boycott would last 381 days from December 5, 1955, through December 20, 1956. Two years after the Montgomery Bus Boycott began, Mrs. Parks and her husband, Raymond, lost their job jobs and received numerous death threats after her arrest. They later moved to Detroit, Michigan where he passed away in 1977 and she in 2005.
So, as you take a seat on a bus or an airplane, or even in a movie theater or restaurant, be mindful of the people who paved the way for you to casually move about in America. Also be sure to tell and retell American history.
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