Montgomery Bus Boycott

Courtesy of Gareth Stevens Publishing

The Montgomery bus boycott occurred in Montgomery, Alabama
  • African Americans tried to end racial segregation on city buses by boycotting the vehicles.
  • Took place from December 5, 1955 to December 20, 1956.
  • General conditions leading to boycott:
    • city ordinances requiring blacks to ride in designated sections in the rear of municipal buses
    • discourteous and violent treatment of African Americans by white city bus drivers
    • blacks' resentment and protest of segregation, violence, and mistreatment—at times resulting in arrests of blacks and violent confrontations between black riders and white bus drivers
    • formation of black organization, the Women's Political Council (WPC) that had as one of its goals the elimination of segregated city buses.

  • Immediate event leading to boycott:
    • the arrest of Rosa Parks, forty-two-year-old black seamstress and former secretary of local NAACP, for refusing to surrender her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white male passenger on December 1, 1955.

  • Parks' arrest, coupled with long-term system of segregation on Montgomery municipal buses leads to decision by local blacks to boycott.
  • Highlights of boycott:
    • role of E.D. Nixon, local black activist, in securing release of Parks from jail
    • efforts of WPC to organize one-day boycott, taking place, December 5
    • emergence of Martin Luther King Jr., twenty-five-year-old Montgomery minister, as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association and spokesman of the boycott
    • King's articulation of the nonviolent philosophy of protest as the ideology behind the boycott
    • use of mass meetings at local black churches as strategy and motivational sessions
    • decision to extend one-day boycott until city met basic demands of protestors
    • use of car pools and walking as ways of avoiding buses
    • rejection by city officials and representatives of bus company of demands for fairer treatment on buses
    • arrest of boycott leaders by city authorities and bombing of homes of some of the boycott leaders by white extremists
    • decision to sue the city for complete elimination of segregation on city buses
    • decision of federal district court, affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, declaring segregation on municipal buses unconstitutional, December 1956.

  • Significance of boycott:
    • successful effort by 40,000 blacks in Montgomery against segregation on municipal buses reflected new attitude of protest by southern blacks
    • considered the beginning of the Modern Civil Rights Movement
    • saw the rise of Martin Luther King Jr. as national civil rights leader and spokesman of Modern Civil Rights Movement
    • led to similar protests by blacks in other Southern cities.

Courtesy of Youtube


"ADAH: Alabama Moments (Montgomery Bus Boycott--Quick Summary)." ADAH: Alabama Moments (Homepage). Web. 26 May 2011. <>.

Most of the writing portion is from from the web titled Alabama Moments where it summarizes bus boycott. This web has many facts surrounding the boycott.
"YouTube - ‪The Montgomery Bus Boycott‬‏." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Web. 31 May 2011. <>.
The video is from the Youtube. I copied the video's url address and posted on the Wikispaces. The video tells about how bus boucoyy began after the arrest of Rosa Parks.

"The Montgomery Bus Boycott." Gareth Stevens Publishing. Web. 03 June 2011. <>.
For the picture I used a website for Gareth Stevens Publishing. I used this picutre to show the bus boycott in Alabama.