The civil rights movement was established during the 1950s and 1960s to advocate for social justice and to ensure that blacks to gain equal rights under the United States laws. Initially, the civil war had officially abolished slavery although it did not mitigate discrimination against the black community. A majority of the African American in the South continued to suffer devastating effects of racism. However, by the mid-20th century, they had endured severe discrimination and aggression from the Whites. The actions prompted them to begin unprecedented resistance to advocate for equality that lasted for almost two decades. Some of the activists that impelled the occurrence of the civil rights movements included Jo Ann Gibson Robinson and Rosa Parks. Reflecting on the actions and efforts of both activists in the Montgomery bus boycott, it is evident that the black community was highly oppressed and the movement impelled impartiality. Moreover, while the Montgomery bus boycott had propelled the civil rights movements and advocated for equality, there is still a lot required to be done in the struggle for black community equality.
In December 1955, Rosa Parks was detained due to her repudiation of changing seats in a Montgomery bus. The event marked the beginning of a peaceful civil rights movement to resist bus segregation. During the event, Martin Luther King, Jr., incited the community to resist the arrest of Rosa Parks (Alderman et al. 173). Several protests were launched across the South as the boycott resulted in the desegregation of the bus company. The protests were peaceful although the police forces used brutality and force against the protesting groups. The images from the events were broadcasted, an aspect that helped the movement gain compassion from some of the whites in the North. In 1963, thousands of African-Americans and some whites were recorded protesting to end racial discrimination. It was also during the event, that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the legendary “I Have a Dream” dialogue on black liberation.
Jo Ann Robinson also endured the discrimination underlying racial segregation during the late 1940s when a driver shouted at her for sitting in an empty section set for whites in a city bus. The driver harassed Robinson and she stepped out of the bus in fear that she would be hurt. The event dismayed her and it inspired her to mobilize against the segregated city bus system. Jo Ann Robinson was also influential in the initiation and sustaining of the Montgomery bus boycott. She openly criticized the unfair treatment and discrimination of African Americans on public transportation. In 1955, Rosa Parks was detained in Montgomery (Alderman et al. 175). As a way of reacting to the incident, Robinson printed several documents aimed at inciting the community to participate in the bus boycott. Moreover, during the first day of the boycott, numerous copies had been distributed to all residents that supported the movement. As a way of systematically managing the movement, Robinson in the support of local leaders established the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). The association focused on initiating comprehensive boycotts with the objective of disputing racial segregation and discrimination on the bus companies. Robin managed the editorial team, whereby she focused on publishing documents that resisted the issue of black segregation. Moreover, she also worked with other leaders to ensure that the boycott lasted long enough and it gained the attention of individuals nationally. After almost one year of protest, the federal court ruled in favor of desegregation. in many years, the bus boycott was considered the first peaceful protest that was successful in advocating for the rights of the black community.
As a way of intimidating Robinson to quit the protests, the local authorities arrested and targeted her with violence. She endured harassment such as police officers throwing rocks to her house windows and pouring acid on her car. The harassment was severe that state police were assigned to protect her home. However, in 1956, the federal district court deemed the segregating aspect unconstitutional. During the period Jo Ann Robinson, Rosa Parks, and Dr. King were recognized as figures of national eminence that steered an epoch of diplomatic civil rights protests. Notably, the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 was resourceful as it propelled the desegregation of buses in the south (Alderman et al. 176). It also highlighted the role of women activists such as Rosa Parks and Jo Ann Robinson in the uneven world of political organizing. The peaceful protests of civil rights movements were outstanding and they inspired the establishment of other movements as a main style of resistance. The Montgomery Bus Boycott happened in the same year as the Bandung Conference of liberated African and Asian nations. The perspective placed Montgomery within a global period of freedom resist.
Overall, in spite of the success of the Civil Rights Movement propelled by Rosa Parks and Jo Ann Robinson among other activists, there remains fragmentary business in the struggle for equality. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was an important event that contributed to the victory of the civil rights movements during the 1950s and 1960s. The boycott attracted the attention of the whole nation and enlightened individuals on the prevalence of discrimination and racial segregation. The nonviolence boycott lasted for more than one year and they set a pace for various civil rights movements. It was remarkable as it also offered Martin Luther King a leadership position within the movement and exemplified the effectiveness of peaceful protests. In particular, the Montgomery bus boycott gained success in propelling the Civil Rights movements, from the desegregation of buses, passage of federal law prohibiting racial prejudice, and the consciousness of the African American cultural legacy. In particular, the peaceful protests had a distinct contribution in the history of African Americans in the U.S.
- Alderman, Derek H., et al. “Reexamining the Montgomery Bus Boycott: Toward an empathetic pedagogy of the Civil Rights Movement.” Professional Geographer, vol. 65, no. 1, Feb. 2013, pp. 171–186.