December 1, 1955, on a Thursday evening as the rush home began, Rosa Parks and several other Black passengers on a public bus were ordered to move for a White man to be able to sit in the seat. Parks did not move. She was arrested as a result, violating Alabama segregation laws even though segregation had been struck down by the Supreme Court a little under two years earlier. Alabama was still enforcing it as usual as was the rest of the South.
During that spring, a Black girl, Claudette Colvin, experienced the same situation and did the same but the NAACP and Black progressives were unprepared and nothing politically came of the arrest. They were ready for Rosa Parks though and a boycott was established the following Monday. The result was thousands of bus seats being left open as Black schoolchildren and adults found other ways to get where they needed or just didn’t go. Over 17,000 participated initially although that number grew.
A little background on Parks shows that she wasn’t some nobody who got fed up one day. She had married Raymond Parks, an extreme Black progressive with ties to communists. Unsurprisingly their marriage was childless which is a common theme in leaders of “progressivism.” If they do have children, they are communists or part of some other dreaded group. Before her arrest, Parks had also joined the NAACP who were just waiting for the next opportunity to challenge segregation. Well, their time came that Thursday evening.
That following Monday was busy. Not only did the boycott begin, Rosa Parks was convicted of her crime and fined and a mass meeting by Blacks led to the formation of the Montgomery Improvement Association. Who would be leading this new organization? None other than Martin Luther King Jr. The Civil Rights movement had essentially begun.
If King was the best this movement could offer then its people must have been pretty lousy although I suppose he did get the job done. King was a sketchy character to say the least, plagerizing to earn his doctoral degree and being sympathetic to communism. However, he was charismatic with a religious background meaning he could rally the masses with relative ease, so long as he was given the power. He was given that power and immediately began calling for peaceful protests and participation in the bus boycott. He called for an end to segregation and the use of “Christian love” to achieve that.
Due to the boycott, buses stopped running to Black areas of town, reasoning that the boycott had rendered them an unecessary drain on finances. To combat the transportation difficulties to keep the boycott going, a car-pool system was established by the Black leadership and Blacks could somewhat rely on it to get to and from school and work. The boycott was able to go on and with guidance of Black progressives, it dragged into 1956.
1956 was the year the resistance against the movement truly began. In Jamuary, King’s house was firebombed as was E.D. Nixon, a lawyer that had helped bail Rosa Parks out of jail. The following month, major leaders of the movement were hit with convictions using a 1921 Alabama law that prohibited boycotts “without just cause.”
As the boycott dragged on, the case, Browder v. Gayle made its way up the court system, reaching the Supreme Court who, along with the U.S. District Court, ruled that segregated buses were unconstitutional, citing Brown v. Board of Education. By late December, the decision was solidified and an order for integrated bus systems arrived in Alabama. On December 20, 1956, the boycott was called off and Black citizens were urged to return to the buses to earn their prize of integrated buses.
Although segregation itself wasn’t inherently “unequal” as the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education, I must say, segregated buses in their form before Browder v. Gayle did leave Blacks at a disadvantage and did in a way discriminate against them. Being forced to stand so that a White person may stand is discrimination, no way around it. Under Plessy v. Ferguson, this was not equal and left Blacks at a disadvantage. How was it right that they could be forced to stand when they paid just like the White? It simply wasn’t. However, the use of Brown v. Board of Education as a citation to back up that claim was unjust as that ruling defied logic and was only done for virtue signaling. That ruling was done by judges that had a bias and were not being objective.
Under the ruling under Plessy v. Ferguson, the court could have come to the same conclusion, but instead they used their bias and corrupt ruling to legitimize another of their own decisions in Browder v. Gayle.
Whatever the case, the effects of the bus boycott were clear. Martin Luther King ,Jr., rose to prominence and the movement for Civil Rights truly began, although the following desires and aims were much less justified than the end of segregated bussing. The Civil Rights movement and the end of segregation had begun.