While most people remember Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, they forget that the Montgomery Bus Boycott succeeded because of the participation of tens of thousands of ordinary people. These women and men risked their lives and jobs to keep the boycott alive. Many, like this woman, walked instead of riding the segregated buses.
November 13, 1956 – The United States Supreme Court declares Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal, thus ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The National City Lines bus, No. 2857, on which Rosa Parks was riding before she was arrested (a GM "old-look" transit bus, serial number 1132), is now a museum exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum.
On Dec. 5, 1955 the Montgomery Bus Boycott began. It is one of the most powerful stories of organizing and social change in U.S. history. Out of Montgomery’s 50,000 African American residents, 30,000-40,000 participated in the boycott. For 381 days, they walked or bicycled or car-pooled, depriving the bus company of a substantial portion of its revenue.
Selma-Montgomery March: Martin Luther King leading march from Selma to Montgomery to protest lack of voting rights for African Americans. Beside King is US Congressman John Lewis, Reverend Jesse Douglas, James Forman and Ralph Abernathy. March 1965.
Lost for more than 50 years since they were featured in Life magazine, Gordon Parks’s stunning images show daily life for one Alabama family in the shadow of race riots, bus boycotts and the fight for civil rights