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Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955. In Montgomery, Alabama, front seats in buses were for Whites only. If the White section was full then Blacks people had to give up their seats for their White superiors. 1 st December 1955, Rosa Parks was sitting in the Black section of a bus….

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Montgomery Bus

Boycott 1955


In Montgomery, Alabama, front seats in buses were for Whites only. If the White section was full then Blacks people had to give up their seats for their White superiors.


1 only. If the White section was full then Blacks people had to give up their seats for their White superiors. st December 1955, Rosa Parks was sitting in the Black section of a bus…

It’s full at the front. I want to sit down. You move!

No! I’ve been standing up all day

Rosa refused to move. The police arrested her.


  • Rosa Parks was an active member of the NAACP only. If the White section was full then Blacks people had to give up their seats for their White superiors.

  • Her refusal to give up her seat had been planned by local Civil Rights leaders


  • Black leaders and church ministers met to discuss the issue only. If the White section was full then Blacks people had to give up their seats for their White superiors.

  • Martin Luther King decided to organise a protest

  • Monday 5 December - all Black people were asked not to use the buses (bus boycott)

  • That Monday the buses all over town were empty


Don’t ride the buses! only. If the White section was full then Blacks people had to give up their seats for their White superiors.

Take a cab, share a ride or walk

Don’t ride the buses!

They need us

More than we need them!


There comes a time when people get tired – tired of being segregated and humiliated: tired of being kicked about by the brutal feet of oppression



  • The boycott lasted for King 381 days

  • Blacks had made up 70% of the passengers

  • Without Black passengers the bus companies lost money

  • Blacks people pooled or shared cars

  • Police tried to stop then car sharing and many were arrested for doing so.


Effects of the Boycott King

  • In December 1956 buses in Montgomery were officially desegregated by the courts

  • Bus companies had started to desegregate anyway – couldn’t afford not to

  • Showed what could be achieved by organised peaceful protest

  • Showed the economic power of the Blacks

  • Martin Luther King became the new Civil Rights Movement leader

  • SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) established in 1957. MLK elected president.


Effects of the Boycott King

  • Montgomery still segregated town

  • The battle for desegregation continued…..


Effective because
Effective because… King

  • Economic power of blacks

  • Desegregation of buses in Montgomery

  • Non-violent protest worked

  • MLK’s leadership


Ineffective because
Ineffective because… King

  • Desegregation happened only in Montgomery on buses

  • Tremendous white opposition throughout the boycott

  • Long, drawn-out process

  • Civil rights campaign has to continue


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