- Created by: Pip Dan
- Created on: 20-09-17 14:05
The person who sparked off the boycott was Mrs Rosa Parks, a NAACP activist, when she was arrested in March 1955 for not giving up her seat to white man whilst sitting on the front of a bus. Bus boycotts had occurred before across the South, in places such as Baton Rouge, Louisiana but had not brought such wide success. Furthermore, Rosa Parks had previously refused to give up her seat; however, this was the first time she had been arrested. Local members of the NAACP, such as E.D. Nixon wanted to use the Parks case to launch a campaign to end bus segregation in Montgomery and, ultimately, across the south.
Martin Luther King Jr was a minister and an effective speaker who proved important to the boycott. King was able to forge links between different African-American groups into the MIA. Initially, the MIA did not want an end to bus segregation. Instead, it wanted a more humane enforcement of segregation. For instance, it wanted drivers to be more polite to African-American customers.
City officials in Montgomery tried to undermine the boycott. Black cab drivers had charged the same as the buses in an effort to get black people to work in lieu of there being no buses. However, city officials declared that the minimum fare that a cab driver could charge was 45 cents – so the 10 cents being paid was effectively made illegal. To get around this, MIA introduced a private taxi plan whereby those blacks who owned their car picked up and dropped off people at designated points. This overcame the 45 cents fare issue.
The white community of Montgomery tried to use local newspapers to convince the black community that the boycott had been resolved by printing a story that…