5. Montgomery 1 It was the first of December in fifty-five and Rosa Parks, a seamstress, boarded a bush to ride home after she had been working all day. Tired and weary, she fell back in her seat to stay. 2 A black woman, she sat in the row just behind the 'white' section of the bus. The law drew a line that said whites sat up front, blacks in the back. It was wrong, but she had accepted the fact. 3 When more white people got on, there were no seats left in the 'white' section, and so the bus driver told Mrs. Parks and another three black passengers that they would have to move quickly. 4 The bus was now full -- she would have to stand. The other three did what the driver did command. But Rosa Parks refused, and when she said no, she was breaking the law -- but she would not go. 5 Mrs. Parks was arrested on the spot on that day and hauled off to jail -- and without delay, the news spread all around through Montgomery and soon was known by all the black community. 6 Until now, there had been little challenge made of the anti-black laws. It just hadn't paid, for it was dangerous and seemed hopeless, indeed. But people were growing angry, and that, this would feed. 7 The next night, a meeting took place in King's church -- people were ready to act. They hadn't searched for an incident, but his one had occurred, and they called a one-day bus boycott to protest the next day. 8 Leaflets were handed out all over town asking the black community when Monday came around not to ride the buses. They waited to see; and when Monday came, each bus was empty. 9 Black people were refusing to ride the buses now. They'd walk, take cabs, drive cars, or somehow get to work or wherever they might have to go -- even riding mules or horse-drawn wagons to and fro. 10 That afternoon, the leaders formed an organization called the Montgomery Improvement Association, and they named King the leader before he could refuse -- this was a fight they could not afford to lose. 11 That night at a meeting, to which thousands came, they voted to extend the boycott as it was, just the same until drivers treated black passengers with respect, and some black drivers were hired, and segregation was banned. 12 Slowly, the process had grown over the years coming down, and a year before, the Supreme Court had ruled in Brown vs. Board of Ed that segregation must end, and now a movement was starting that would send 13 inspiration and hope all across the nation -- the bus boycott would last over a year and would come to represent a spark that would spread throughout the land and invigorate our spirit -- led by this man. 6. The Boycott 1 Some of the cabs were of black owned companies and many of the people would simply take these, for they in turn charged them ten cents for a ride until the police told the owners that what they tried 2 was illegal and that they would have to charge at least forty-five cents a ride or have their licenses revoked by police. So car pools were set up, but the police began to arrest the drivers if they could, but the car pools still ran. 3 King himself was arrested for 'speeding' and was jailed and later began receiving threatening phone calls. When this failed to intimidate him, one night someone threw a bomb on his porch -- but no one was hurt when it blew. 4 And then Reverend King and over one hundred more black people were arrested under an old state law for restraining trade. He was found guilty and was fined five hundred dollars -- while some cried, he didn't mind. 5 "I am proud of my crime," King later said. "It was the crime of joining my people led in a nonviolent protest against injustice." Meantime, their lawyers went to court to have the judges find 6 the bus segregation laws in Alabama declared unconstitutional -- and that's how it fared. But the city's lawyers said they would take the case to the Supreme Court to correct that 'mistake.' 7 In the meanwhile, the city officials had sought that a local court stop the car pools, "ought that not be declared an unlawful business?" they said. Surely, this court would act and render the boycott thusly dead. 8 But about noon on November thirteenth when King and his lawyers were in court to defend the car pools, reporters began to run in and out, and one of them handed King a note telling him what it was all about. 9 The United States Supreme Court had agreed that the bus segregation laws in Alabama were indeed a violation of the Constitution. The car pool would be ended, but the boycott had been won! 10 When the order from the US Supreme Court arrived on December Twentieth, the report meant that bus segregation would be a thing of the past. The next morning, King rode the first integrated bus at last. 11 King was but 27 when the boycott was done. The battle was waged and the battle was won. He stood high in the world -- he was written about and called a "modern Moses" by those who so tout. 12 He was offered many jobs, some with high pay, but he didn't take any offered him; he would stay as the pastor of his Montgomery church, instead -- he didn't let any of this go to his head. 13 Nonetheless, the spark had ignited a fire and in the years that would come, it would grow higher for the fight for justice would go on -- it must, and the movement had a leader whom it would trust. Continue