Essay Summary Paper Montgomery Bus Boycott

Second Short Essay Assignment December 1, 1955 marked the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, an African American non-violent rebellion lasting just over a year. The boycott was brought about when Rosa Parks, an African American woman, refused to give up her seat, on a Montgomery public bus, for a white man. At her refusal, the bus driver called police, and Parks was arrested for violating segregation regulation. As a result, African Americans rebelled against this ordinance by refusing to ride public transportation until authorization of bus desegregation was issued. The controversy surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott was an opportunity for advancement, not only for local African Americans, but those battling discrimination throughout the nation. In the flight of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Martin Luther King Jr. gained national status that, in later years, would bring him to revolutionize the civil rights movement. King, a Baptist pastor and doctorate theologian, used church sermons to communicate the importance of non-violent protests to mass audiences. He proposed, “If you will protest courageously and yet with dignity and Christian love…historians will have to pause and say, ‘There lived a great people – a black people – who injected a new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization’” (Promise 761). The result was outstanding. Boycotters refused public transportation for 381 days, choosing to walk or

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In “The Role of Law in the Civil Rights Movement: The Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955-1957,” author Robert Jerome Glennon discusses how historians have neglected to see the impact the legal system has had on the civil rights movement, particularly the Montgomery bus boycott. Outwardly, many have assumed that the bus integration that later transpired was the result of the boycott which began after Rosa Parks’ arrest in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955. However, in actuality, the success of the Montgomery bus integration was largely attained due to the work of litigation, specifically the Browder v. Gayle case. After Rosa Parks had refused to give up her seat and was arrested, efforts towards bus integration appeared.…show more content…

It is easy for people to assume that the boycott played the major role in the integration of buses because the MIA was publicly looking to have their demands met. However, privately, these men and women were looking for alternatives to gain desegregation. Activists like attorneys Fred Gray, Charles Langford, and Robert L. Carter favored going about integration through litigation, which lead to Browder v. Gayle. The MIA and Park’s attorney, Fred Gray, realized that her case would not have success with the Supreme Court since the Court will not review any cases that bring up questions of state law. Instead of going on with Parks’ case, which was tied up in Alabama courts, Fred Grey filed Browder on February 1, 1956. Browder sought for an injunction against further segregated seating, which relied on the legal authority of Brown v. Board of Education. Without Gray’s request for an injunction, there is the possibility that the boycott that began days after Parks’ arrest could have lasted much longer than its 381-day stint. Gray was able to completely bypass the U.S. Courts of Appeal and go directly to an initial three-judge hearing and then on to the Supreme Court. The time Gray saved by filing the Browder case as an injunction was a decisive factor in the success of the boycott. By October of 1956, there was very little to show for the

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