The Montgomery Bus Boycott


The Montgomery Bus Boycott was more than just a strike against a bus system, it was a foot in the door for equality and justice for all.  It also was an opportunity and platform for leaders to step up such as Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks.  I believe the Montgomery Bus Boycott brought to light and began the movement for equality in the United States.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott started because African Americans were tired of being mistreated on the the bus system.  African Americans payed the same price to ride the bus as everyone else but were treated different.  They were required to pay driver up front but then had to enter the bus from a back door.  Sometimes drivers would drive off after payment leaving them with no ride home.  If the buses filled up and a white passenger came aboard it was expected for the the African American passenger to give up their seats and move closer to the back.  “75 percent of Montgomery’s bus ridership was African American” so they decided to use those numbers, work together and start a boycott.


It took lots of organization and motivation to begin this boycott and steps to equality.  One leader that rose to the occasion was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He was a young, 26 year old Pastor that was just beginning his career and family life.  People viewed him as a fresh young face to start new directions for the movement of equality.  He inspired millions to make a difference and change using non-violent and peaceful acts.  He became the face and leader of the movement.

Rosa Parks is another well known name in the Civil Right Movement.  “Nine months before Rosa Parks’ arrest for refusing to give up her bus seat, 15 year old Claudette Colvin was arrested in Montgomery for the same act.  The city’s black leaders prepared to protest, until it was discovered Colvin was pregnant and deemed an inappropriate symbol for their cause.9 months later, Rosa Parks was on her way home and refused to move from her bus seat and a movement began.  Rosa Parks was an ideal symbol for the movement being an older African American woman, who was a hard worker and secretary for the NAACP at the time.


Montgomery Bus Boycott was a starting point of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the start of the civil rights movement for equality.  It made public and began shed light on how African Americans were being treated in the south with segregation laws.  And it gave opportunity to unite and help each other make a difference in the United States.  That’s why the the Montgomery Bus Boycott was not just a strike against a bus system but a foot in the door for equality and justice for all.       

Reference: Staff. “Montgomery Bus Boycott.” A&E Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2010. Web. 31 May 2016.


About renniehar

Coming back to school after 20 years. Really happy to do that and is having fun . My peers have been really helpful . So blessed to have good professor too

3 thoughts on “The Montgomery Bus Boycott

  1. I didn’t know about how payment was taken, and sometimes drivers would just leave without the African American passengers. Thank you for writing about this topic it is always extremely important.

  2. Rennie – thanks for highlighting the need for the right symbols for a movement as well. I think all to often we think “Oh I can change that” but look at how long it took to find the right couple to challenge the constitutionality of marriage laws at the supreme court level. You have to have that right mix for resonance. All about the pubic perception I suppose and even more so in the day and age of social media – I wonder if Rosa would have made the cut in todays world.

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